Your Career and You: “It’s about ‘Time’”


Publication1We recently observed “Communication Week” at Curry College, and we held a series of activities focusing on the many aspects of our department’s activities.

The kick-off event was the annual induction ceremony for the newest members of our Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honors Society chapter. I’ve been going to these for umpteen years, and I never fail to be amazed at the variety of activities in which each inductee is involved. I get tired listening to the narratives!

The key point…which is driven home time after time…is that not only are these young men and women involved in a number of on- and off-campus groups and organizations while also maintaining an admirable grade point average; they are actively involved in these endeavors.

What they have figured out is the answer to that age-old conundrum of “how do I fit 30+ hours of work into a 24-hour day?”

As many of us “veterans” have finally figured out…and these young future professionals are learning…is that, in spite of your desperate wishes, life…personal and professional…is going to happen whether you play a part in it or not.

You just have to learn how to prioritize the challenges and deal with them.

I still have those occasions where I take stock of my situation and mutter crossly, “Why did I let myself get painted into this corner?”

A big part of the problem is my inbred inability to say “No.”

I get/am involved in organizations and activities that truly bring me a sense of satisfaction and personal accomplishment. Then I get asked to take on another project or program that I believe in and want to see flourish.

Next thing I know, I’ve raised my figurative hand and have been dubbed “head honcho” of this or that initiative.

Luckily…through no fault of my own…these things succeed due, in huge part, to the amazing help and support of others who share my enthusiasm.

These experiences are things that I bring into the classroom for my students, with the caution to “do as I say do…not as I tend to do.”

Successful people are involved in numerous activities. They are because, again, the activities are things in which they believe themselves and for which they believe they can make a difference.

The “secret sauce” for these folks is their ability to prioritize and address situations in order of their importance in the opinion of the individual.

Question: How did they accomplish this supposedly simple but often incredibly complicated task?

Answer: By taking a realistic assessment of their own lives and obligations and calculating how much time they can devote to yet another activity.

It’s not “rocket science,” exactly, but it is very smart thinking. You can and should lend your talents and your enthusiasm to organizations and activities that you care about and want to see thrive and succeed.

But make sure you are able to follow through on your promises. In the end, it’s about time.

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
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