Having a happy and successful career is much more likely when you regularly tend to the little things that are easy to overlook or backburner when you're running 90 miles an hour trying to keep your head above water. Every Tuesday I give you a small task to do that will help keep your career in good shape.
Why do I write about these things in a legal blog? There's no law that says you have to help out a fellow teacher, say, so why should I waste time recommending it on a legal blog?
Two reasons. First, because I have always seen my role as a teacher lawyer as one of helping teachers remain satisfied with their job and career. The tools I use to do that are legal tools.
Second, because I learned many years ago that teachers who tend to the little things generally enjoy better professional and personal reputations, which makes it far less likely that they will run into legal problems in the first place. When they do, it is much, much easier to defend against adverse employment actions if those around you like you, respect you, and trust your judgment.
As the New Year begins, I've made a commitment to tend to these little things in my own business, which means I've committed to keep up the Tuesday barrage of tasks for all of you. I am a mom, after all, so I have practice ordering people to do things.
This week, we start with a quote and a confession.
"You will accomplish a lot more with movement than you will with motivation." -- Gary Halbert
The beginning of a New Year motivates people to set resolutions for the betterment of their life. Yet only movement, in the form of actual, real, concrete actions will result in that betterment. Many years ago I was addicted to infomercials. I don't know if you've noticed, but infomercials tend to go through cycles, just like regular TV shows, where for a few years you'll have a bunch of sitcoms, then there will be a lot of doctor shows, then it shifts to lawyer shows, etc. Infomercials tend to do that, too. You'll see a lot of cooking gadgets for a while - juicers, slicers, roasters, grillers, choppers, pannini thingees, et al - and then it'll be personal care - makeup, acne fixers, hair restoration - followed by exercise equipment - thighs, abs, butts, boxing, kicking, turboing, flying (you know, that pilates thing) - and then on to something else like finances, gold investing, coin collecting, cleaning equipment, ringlet making . . . .
Many years ago, the infomercial cycle was in personal improvement, and Tony Robbins was the King. His infomercials were on several times a week, and periodically there would be a new one for his newest product. Since these infomercials run 30 minutes, there was a lot of motivational talk included, jazzing the viewers up so they'd be motivated to move to the phone and order the product.
Well, in my 20-something cleverness, I figured out that since the point of the product was to motivate you, and I felt motivated after watching the 30 minute infomercial, I could get great value by watching the infomercial every time I could and skipping the purchase part. I have always loved a good bargain and am still a thrifty, thrifty girl, so I was well pleased with my clever little trick.
And I did feel motivated every time I saw one of Tony Robbins' passionate pleas to me to change my life and live fully. I walked with confidence, and expectation. I walked tall and proud. I also walked around in circles doing nothing, but golly I was full of confidence.
It took me a while to figure out that feeling motivated was pointless without a plan or goals or even a tiny little specific task to work on. And to be fair to Tony Robbins, I had the opportunity years later to actually listen to one of his porgrams, and he does much more than merely motivate. He understands that movement is the real key to success in anything. Eventually, I figured that out too, although not before spending way too many late night and Sunday morning hours watching my way to nothing. I confess I have not always been as smart as I like to think I am.
Anyway, I still haven't given you this week's task. That's because it is up to you this week. This week I want you to take one of your personal career goals (or one of your New Year resolutions related to your career) and come up with a movement related to your goal. Then go do it. Get off the couch, get up from the computer, put the class assignments down. Take a little bit of time to create movement toward just one career goal. You don't even have to be motivated to do it. Just do it anyway, like cleaning the toilet.
Then leave me a comment and let me know what you did.