In today’s work world, employees are changing jobs every few years vs. every few decades. Mindfulness in the form of meditation may help you to envision your career future. Approximately 50% of career staff on campus are retirement eligible, and as new workers enter our workforce, the goal of spending 20 or more years on campus is less desirable than it was even 5 years ago. Whether you are new to the work world, have a solid record of work experience, have certification in a trade or from the military, possess a high school diploma, undergraduate or advanced degree, or have a newly-minted degree that you have elected to leverage on campus (along with the over 30% of staff who attended UCB as a student), there is one thing you all have in common: you are working here on campus, and it is in your best interest to take charge of your own career.
As we face these times of change and transition, both on campus and around the globe, we should not lose sight of the fact that we can take charge of our own careers, and engage in self-care to reduce the impact that the stress of change, increased workloads and uncertainty may have on you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Having just celebrated the successful execution of the fourth NOW (Next Opportunity at Work) Conference last month, this is an opportune time to encourage everyone to keep a focus on your career and personal futures. For those of you who did not have an opportunity to attend the conference, the 2016 NOW Conference session videos and handouts are available at: 2016 NOW Conference. Also feel free to visit the archive website for the 2013-2015 NOW Conferences: NOW Conference Archives.
Here are some helpful suggestions based on our 2016 NOW Conference theme: “Reflect, Envision and Act”:
Reflect: Focus on your assets and successes so that you can continue to use them. Make a practice of looking at what brings you joy at work. Presenter Lisa Rykert helped us create a post-it Joy Wall to invite participants to post what brings you joy at work. Posts like “collaborating”, “my team”, “helping students”, and “Work Fit Yoga” demonstrate positive influences at work.
Envision: Self-leadership. It’s not just about using functional job skills; it’s also being aware and purposeful about doing work that you love, developing yourself, and being mindful about the kind of job future you want. It also may include using emotional intelligence to recognize and respond to the emotions of others in how you do your work.
Act: Seek and use feedback as a tool to manage yourself and your relationships; find a mentor and be a mentor; and take advantage of the many campus career counseling services, tools and resources: UHS Staff Career Programs.