You will find today’s writer all over social media. He’s a great example of how to do SoMe really well and be both funny, endearing, intelligent and thoughtful. I absolutely love his energy, enthusiasm and downright driven desire to put his true authentic self out there all the time whether it reflects well or not and keep developing himself and everyone he comes into contact with. To Twitter types in NZ Jonathon Hagger will need absolutely no introduction and he is of course our very own @everydaymanager.
An alternative Christmas Carol – the Ghost of your Career
The story A Christmas Carol was written in 1843 about a man named Scrooge. He is introduced to the reader as being the owner of a money-counting business who despises Christmas and is known as a “humbug”. As an employer he subjects his employees to gruelling hours and shows his cold-heart toward others by claiming the poor are better off dead which would relieve their burden upon the economy.
One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the tormented ghost of his deceased business partner, Mr Marley. Like Scrooge, Marley had spent his life hoarding his wealth and exploiting the poor, and as a result was condemned to an eternity of being bound in the chains of his own greed. Marley warns Scrooge that if he continues on in the same way he too may end up meeting the same fate. Scrooge’s final chance of comes when he is visited by three spirits of Christmas: Past, Present, and Yet to come.
Scrooge was shown how his approach to people and business was ultimately destructive. For Christmas 2015 I would like to spin this story and ask if were you to be visited by the Ghost Of Your Career what would you be shown?
The Ghost of Aspirations Past enables us to reflect on the choices we have made along our career path so far. How did we get to where we are today? What goals and dreams did we begin our career journeys with and where are those dreams now? Are we actually happy in what we do and is it fulfilling? If we regret some of the choices in times past are we bound by those as we look forward? So how just how DID you get here?
The Ghost of Process Present peers into our everyday transactional life and looks at the impact we may be making on impacting others. Are we making positive or negative experiences for others? Do we those who we work with think that we do or don’t care about them as people? How are we connecting with those around us? Are we mentoring those starting out? Or are we stuck in the mud, unable to see the wood from the trees?
I ask the question are you claiming ignorance for not knowing any better or are you ignoring what you want because you may be held back by comfort or fear?
Finally, the Ghost of Paths Yet To Come opens up a window allowing us to look into the future to see who we might become. What are we becoming in our careers? Who will we be if we continue on in the same way as we do today? What opportunities are there that we may take up that could accelerate us towards who we really want to be and where?
The crescendo in the story occurred as Scrooge gazed upon a group of his peers and former employees mocking him as he lay in the grave. His fortune was gone – taken by people around him who took what they considered to be their dues after he died. This is the point in time where Scrooge shows incredible remorse and wishes he had managed his life very differently. Fortunately he was granted another opportunity at life, to right the wrongs he had made.
I ask you at this time to look through the eyes of each of the spirits – past, present, yet to come – and consider who you are and where your career is headed. What changes could you make to be able to look back and see how your career has changed direction in years to come?
Self-reflection isn’t always an easy exercise to undertake. But it is a highly rewarding thing to do. We each get one life to live and careers that, if we are fortunate, span many years. The question I put to you is if you were afforded the opportunity to look into the future what would others say about you?
We end with the words of Dickens as he describes the effects of Scrooge’s change……
“Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him…it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed the knowledge.”