The economic waves have settled a bit and my company is getting ready to hire several new employees. As the resumes have rolled in, more than I can ever remember, I thought back to my very first professional job and the anticipation of the world that was unfolding before me.
When you started your career what was front and center on your work agenda? I was armed with a master’s degree in psychology and I was going to make the world a happier place.
There was no idea of owning a business, no idea of leading others, no idea of public speaking, and no idea of writing a book. I was focused on learning the ins and outs of being a therapist, working with the invisible forces that make us do what we do.
Interestingly, forty years later the core of my career is the same. I still love to dig down into the hidden world of behavior patterns and how they impact us at home and at work. I also am amazed that instead of a small office with just the right therapeutic setting of chairs, tables and a couch I run a 450 acre retreat center that can sleep 60 people, with an organic vegetable garden, labyrinth, pond large enough for a paddle boat and outdoor dining pavilion.
I also have an office in San Francisco and consultants throughout the country to help with our PatternAware™ programs. So, when someone recently asked me what I am looking for as we hire new consultants and support staff I took time to trace back to the past and bring it into the present.
And I thought about key lessons I have learned. I hope they spark for you some memories and ideas about your own personal lessons. Let me know, I’d love to dialogue with you. Here is my list:
1. Trust the process: what looks awful in the middle of a trauma may just be the fertilizer needed for the next step in career and home.
2. Don’t sell out: even if you are unpopular and feel alone you will find the strength to get to the other side without regret. Pleasers are happier as truth tellers.
3. Give love anyway: even when it is not deserved, don’t push others away, they may well grow and learn also and the love can boomerang back when last expected.
4. Drama can become boring: this addicting pattern can get in the way of real deepening so learn to tell a story that has a purpose and use your dramatic inclination in a more productive way. (I must admit this was the hardest for me to change.)
5. Be committed to being connected: no matter how those who are splitters want to create dichotomies, help to build a bridge, or be a bridge. No one wins unless we all do is a powerful manta.
I am curious to see who comes our way to join our team and how they will take to our basic philosophy that is spelled out in “Don’t Bring It to Work”. Our company is committed to standing on the shoulders of the past rather than to merely repeat it.
I usually re-look at myself at the end of each year. However, with the winds of change blowing gently this is a super time to think about what really matters and welcome new colleagues into my world.