New Year’s Resolutions? Just One.

Happy New Year!

Funny thing about the new year: everyone’s gearing up, as usual, making resolutions. What’s more, like every year, I get emails from readers asking me to write a column on new year career resolutions. It’s as predictable as the new year itself.

So will I do that? Not really, as there’s a general fallacy in making resolutions at any specific time of the year. But I won’t entirely ignore it, either.

Why, you may ask, am I less than enthusiastic about new year’s resolutions? I find nothing wrong with resolutions, per se. When we decide to do something, the one thing we need to do is to be resolute. So OK, resolutions work. But to assign them to a specific time of year is not what we ought to do. That is tacitly admitting that we’ve been procrastinating on something all along, but being the obsessively ritualistic beings we are – and also obsessive about marking dates, time spans (years, decades, centuries), and occasions (birthdays, anniversaries) – we habitually assign resolutions to a date that just happens to be January 1.

Think about it. Why not June 12 or August 31 or any other day, for that matter? Why not Thanksgiving or Memorial Day resoultions? So it’s not the resolutions I’m kvetching about; it’s doing them on January 1 – and, by extension – not doing them on any of the other 364 days of the year.

Any and all changes we make in our lives must happen in one of two contexts. Either we intervene when necessary, suddenly stopping or starting something; or we adopt a more holistic, continuously changing (improving) state of being, thereby changing naturally and automatically. The first scenario is revolution; the second is evolution. Either way, though, resolutions and change are not, never have been, and never should be relegated to one day of the year.

Besides, how many new year resolutions endure past January 2? But that’s another story.

Anyway, if I were to list career-related resolutions to the extent necessary, we’d all be sitting here reading until next January 1, if not longer. That’s not to suggest that any one of us is that needy, but it is to say that everything I’ve been writing for the last fourteen and a half years is constantly valid – something for everyone, so to speak – new year’s day or not.

So to start spouting things on career networking or job searching or anything else would only amount to one of two things. Either it would contradict my feelings about the other 364 days of the year or it would fall woefully short in this one column.

Which brings me to my earlier comment regarding not ignoring the issue entirely. So yes, there’s one resolution (if that’s what we need to call it) that I’m going to espouse, but it’s not at all specific. In fact, it’s a great, big, broad stroke.

Let’s decide – here and now – to become a “Career A.P.E.,” with“A.P.E.” being an acronym standing for “Assess – Plan – Execute.” (If you’ve been to my workshops or other presentations lately, this is not new to you.) There’s hardly a piece of advice I’ve ever given more important than this, because – if you stop and think about it – we all constantly assess our situations, whether career, financial, health, or whatever. But once we do, that’s where the dropoff starts. Fewer of us actually put a plan together and even fewer actually execute on our plans. Accordingly, these three steps become the proverbial three-legged stool, which evokes the classic rhetorical question: Which is the most important leg on a three-legged stool?

This “Career A.P.E.” concept is broadly overarching and is more urgent than ever before. Why? Because, as I’ve been saying for a while now – many times this past year, in fact – we’re in times of uncertainty, and in these uncertain times, the only thing of which we can be certain is ourselves. This year could turn out to be anywhere from the job market’s best year in a long time to a major bust. But, as I said last week, nobody knows, and anyone who bets on either scenario cannot, at this point, be sure of their bet.

That’s where being a “Career A.P.E.” comes in, and I’m so committed to it that I will shortly announce the inception of The Amdur Coaching 2018 “Career A.P.E.” Program. No kidding.

Keep watching. Your chance to become a “Career A.P.E.” is coming soon.

How’s that for a resolution?

Leave a Reply