Taking Stock

Every once in a while I like to take some time and take stock. That's me amidst the paraphernalia from one of my types of handi-work. I am happily surrounded by the various bobs and bits I use to create "quilted" ornaments. (I also have a (huge) collection of seed beads and beading supplies that I use to make beaded "goddesses." And then there is crochet work and embroidery too! For me, immersing myself in design and handi-work is a form of meditation.)

The idea of taking stock is essential for my creativity. Going through it all, at least once each year, reminds me of exactly what I have and spurs ideas for new, exciting projects!

Taking stock of one's career can also be a catalyst for change and progress. This exercise could be completed in several ways, and here is one idea. 

Take a large piece of paper - like a flipchart - and scribbling down, willy-nilly, helter-skelter, in different colours, from weird angles (seeing it in an irregular pattern can identify previously unseen patterns!) - the courses you took last year, the books you read (career-related?), the new skills you learned on the job and in those courses and books, remarks people made about your work (favourable and not-so-favourable). 

Or, first create a vision board of what your ideal job looks like - a cut and paste artsy exercise that holds a lot of merit (don't discount before trying!). And then go to the flip chart to determine what that ideal job requires, what you have, and how to bridge that gap.

Taking stock in this way might just spur ideas for new ventures, contracts, openings, and possible career changes. Even the not-so-nice comments can help as they will steer you away from a career path into an area for which you have no real talent. Don't go into sales if people tell you that you couldn't even convince dear old mother that you are good in sales! Do pursue customer service leadership if people marvel at how you come up with customer-pleasing ideas!

So, get comfy, spread out some papers from your career management file (aka "brag" file), flip open that flipchart or start cutting and pasting images and words for your vision board, and have fun with it! Take stock and take charge of managing your career!

- working to YOUR career's success, Stephanie