Balance and focus - how are you doing?
Let's have a show of hands - honestly now - who is still going to the gym / eating less rubbish / cutting back on the drinking? Resolutions, as we discussed before, can be difficult to keep. So instead we were aiming for objectives, where we could plan and consider our options carefully and wisely.
In January I wrote about the need for balance and for focus. We've had the luxury of an extra day this year already and we're heading for an additional bank holiday in June. Are we using our time well?
Take control of you
As 2012 marches on into British Summer Time and the Euro zone worries continue, I think the objective of maintaining focus remains vital. There's an awful lot of stuff we cannot control (time, weather, the outcome of The X Factor, allegedly...) but we can master the smaller things.
Who planned to do more writing? This may not be something you're allowed to do at work so how will you get more experience? On our View From The Hill blog at Sue Hill Recruitment (SHR) we have recently decided to feature guest bloggers. From conference attendees to the 12 year old son of one of our team, these blog posts give our readership a chance to experience a different voice and the writers themselves a chance to craft and construct something they're passionate about. What better way to raise your profile in the industry? Get your voice out there.
Professional associations are always on the look out for reviews of events. Better still, why not set up your own blog and then tweet a link to your event review? The magic of retweeting means your finely honed words could be broadcast to hundreds or thousands of people in an instant. Of course this does lead me back nicely to my note of trepidation in January that we would all do well to remember Twitter / Blogs / Facebook / LinkedIn are publicly available and things we write can be found, read and, ultimately, judged. They also stay available, long after we've moved on to something else.
We can control what we ourselves project into the world. This is something I find myself thinking about while my thumb hovers above the post/tweet/send button. Being aware of my public profile is definitely on my plan for this year.
Making the most of what comes your way is probably not something we would write in our plan as I'm sure we'd think we do this all the time. But do we really? A forward-thinking, career-minded guest at one of our SHR networking breakfasts did just this. During the course of breakfast, she exchanged ideas and business cards across the coffee-laden table. This resulted in a week-long placement with one of the other attendees' firms. A beneficial experience for both parties, this highlighted to me the importance of making a good impression and of promoting yourself. Sometimes this might not happen but making contact after networking events (sending an email or connecting on LinkedIn) can be rewarding.
It's the little things
Perhaps I should add "try not to sound like a broken record" to my KPIs but I do feel there's something we should all continue to address this year, and every year, and that's the subject of good manners. For example, with them you can express disappointment or deliver bad news in a way that doesn't make it worse than it already is. Good manners make each business transaction and interaction all the more pleasurable. I often find myself remarking on someone who conducts themselves in such a positive way, whatever the scenario. Politeness is a quality that is recognised and gets you remembered. On the flip side, bad manners can lead to notoriety. It comes back to taking control - only you (or maybe your mother) can ensure 'please' and 'thank you' are remembered.
My personal KPIs are still in place as we reach Q2. With the advent of the aforementioned British Summer Time, I have emerged on to the streets of east London in my running attire and my legs are starting to remember what it's like to run down the street without stopping. Race Day at the end of October seems at the same time a long way ahead yet frighteningly close. My plan to acquire a good tennis serve is not yet in action but, on the plus side, I have got tickets for Wimbledon. Maybe I could network with a couple of the players and ask for some advice!
Suzanne Wheatley is a Recruitment Manager at Sue Hill Recruitment. She has worked in information management recruitment for ten years. You can follow her on Twitter @suzyredrec
Image by Ivan Walsh via Flickr.