It has been an "interesting" year for me, and I for one, can't wait for 2015 to start!
On the personal front, it has been both a positive year (never been fitter) and a challenging year, with a number of health scares towards the latter part of the year. Thank goodness I was fitter and healthier, which allowed me to recover better than I would ever have done previously.
Career wise ..... a number of lessons learnt and a number of principles I keep close to myself:
I found out I could no longer trust a couple of "dependable" colleagues / clients, who had also become friends. And while I had been there for them during their times of need, when it came time to support me, the old saying rang true "fair weather friends" ..... (Urban Dictionary: " A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable. At the first sign of trouble, these capricious, disloyal friends will drop their relationship with you.")
On the upside though, the fair weather friends were replaced by a couple of very solid and dependable people who were previously clients of mine, but now I would class as friends. They gave me honest feedback and advice, when it mattered, and have made time to listen to me. I hope there is an opportunity for me to repay their kindness and consideration, but for now, I am honoured to be in their circle.
Don't take things for granted. Just because you are very clear as to the direction you are taking, what you believe and know the outcomes to be, and that you back yourself ... is not enough. Make sure you have management onboard for the ride as well, ensuring they understand and agree with your plan. Have the honest conversation with each of them, making sure any/all uncertainties that are present, but perhaps lying just under the surface, are unearthed, discussed, and resolved to mutual agreement.
Know when the company is not the right fit for you. You may have been head hunted by the company, and that in itself is a wonderful feeling, but it's not enough. Be aware, and decide for yourself ... can you work for a company that talks the talk, but does not walk the talk? If the answer is no, be honest with yourself, and find a company better suited to you, and do it proactively, right foot forward (or perhaps that should be left, given I am left handed), before the opportunity is taken away from you. At the end of the day, it is your career, and yours alone, and its up to you to manage it.
Respect all those you meet. I've met some truly fascinating people during the course of 2014, and for me, it is always a highlight to meet new people. Why? Simple really ... I learn from each and every person I meet, and learning for me is part of my non stop growth. Have I gotten on with everyone I have met? No, not really, but that is not the point. I learnt something from everyone I've met, and I believe I have treated everyone with the respect they deserved.
Honest and open book policy. I haven't shied away from any question that has been asked of me during 2014 ..... whether it was the little 4 year old toddler from yesterday (asking me why I was mowing his Mum's lawn (I was volunteering with the Salvation Army)), to recruiters asking me about little facets of my 28 year career, and finally, having a deep and meaningful with one of my clients. I've tried to answer as completely and as honestly as I can. Why? Get to know me, and you'll understand me more and be more comfortable working with me, and trust me with what is important to you.
So as I round out 2014, looking for my next career path, I reflect back on 2014, in readiness for a cracking 2015, which I intend on grabbing by the scruff of the neck, and making it my year!
To everyone who reads this, I wish you a Happy New Year, and wish you good fortune, happiness and meaningful relationships (both personally and professionally).