Your Career and You: “Time for Reflection”


Publication1I spend a lot of time advising Curry College students on the “next step” as they begin preparing for “life after college” and all the terrifying unknowns lurking in the corners.

This role comes easily thanks to the fact that I’ve wandered the globe for nearly three-quarters of a century and have lived/worked in some pretty cool places. I’m more than willing to share the “ups” as well as the inevitable “downs” of professional life with anyone who asks.

It occurred to me this morning, though, that I, too, am staring “graduation” squarely in the eye. It won’t be my first, but this time I have a feeling it will be my last. The time has come.

The concept is scary as hell. The exact same questions are rolling through my head as my students’…
* Am I ready for this?
* What if I make a mistake?
* Am I good enough for this?
* Who cares if I succeed or fail?

The good news is that I have a ton of friends/colleagues thanks to my 30-plus-year very active membership in the Public Relations Society of America who are willing and able to provide their own perspectives on my transition.

This is something I “preach” to my Communication students, especially those who have committed to our Public Relations Concentration, day after endless day.

Network…network…network. Never stop networking.

This alone, though, isn’t enough. As the TV ad guy loves to say, “But wait…there’s more!”

The next, equally important, action is never stop learning.

Yesterday’s knowledge is okay. But today is here, and tomorrow is right around the corner.

I participate in seemingly a gazillion Twitter chats, webinars, and in-person sessions to either reinforce my confidence in something I think I know or add to my existing knowledge base. Seems like there is always something new, and I love learning from folks who are a LOT smarter than I.

Finally, and this is something I write about time and again…never doubt yourself.

You are capable of things you never imagined possible. Think about it…just a “few” years ago, you reared up on your own two legs and walked!! How cool was that?!?

Of course there will be things that you either can’t do or shouldn’t do. As a curious two-year-old (according to family lore), I discovered that metal nail files should not be stuck into electrical wall sockets…especially if you’re actually holding the nail file in your bare hands!!!

So what’s this all about? It’s about your future and what lies ahead for you.

Life is a wonderful adventure that will bring thrills, chills, joy, and sadness. But it’s yours to control, so dive into the deep end and learn from it. You’ll find it is…has been…and will continue to be…FUN!!

Then, when you get to that stage in life where I seem to have gotten myself in spite of my best efforts, you, too, can pause, take time for reflection, and say to yourself, “Yeah…it has been a pretty good run!”

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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.
This entry was posted in careers, Communication, Curry College, Education, Inspiration, networking, PR, PR students, PRSA, public relations, Public Relations Society of America, Undergraduate Communication and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Your Career and You: “Time for Reflection”

  1. Miriam Abade-Abugre says:

    I love this post.Thank you.

  2. Howie Sholkin says:

    It sounds like you’re going to enter a new phase in your life, which used to be called retirement. It can have a much different meaning today. For decades, retirees kicked back, bought a house in Florida or another warm climate, and took it easy (however that was defined). This retirement was done in part because people didn’t often live past their 60s. Since 1900, life expectancy has about doubled to the early-mid 80s (the fastest growing population is 85+). Two years ago, I entered what I call my trifecta life: college teaching, consulting/writing, and volunteering (plus regular workout routine). It’s much different as I don’t not earn nearly as much as I did nor do I have much predictability as to my schedule. So I continue to adjust the ratio of my trifecta but I am certainly not bored. The day will come when I will not have any earned income, which may be the hardest to part with, but that’s why I’ve saved for 45 years. That’s my story but most people will have their own and a different journey. The adult+ phase of our lives will be like careers and fingerprints, no two are the same.

  3. Very timely and thought provoking entry. Thanks for the insights. I enjoyed them.

  4. Susan Christensen says:

    Scout it out for me, Kirk, and I’ll get back to you in a half-dozen years or so. I’m excited by the possibility of a less defined schedule. But like most pre-retirees, I worry if I’ll have enough money to do some things on my bucket list. I doubt I’ll be bored, though. There’s still so much I want to learn.

    • kirkhazlett says:

      Watch for updates, Susan! Not sure what the actual “retirement” will look like…and we’re talking, at the earliest, May 2017 anyway! I’m committed to Curry College (can’t just bail on them) for at least the coming academic year. But it WILL happen!!

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