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A/W 21: Are You Ready for The New Season?


More and more of my work is about intentionally managing your career so that you are working in the most fulfilling and energy-giving way possible. This is true whether your career is currently a 3/10 or an 8/10. And I believe that the seasons we experience in nature can give us clues as to how we can intentionally manage our careers in a cyclical way.

So, what am I recommending you do to intentionally manage your career during the last 3 months of 2021?

Plant Spring bulbs

We all know that October is the time to think about planting tulips and other bulbs for an impressive Spring display of colour. The bulb will stay dormant underground until the Spring when it will grow and eventually flower.

What could you start to cultivate in your career this season that will burgeon into vibrancy in the Spring?

Firstly, think forward 6 months to April 2022. What would you like to be different in your career at that point in time? Think about what would bring in more colour and energy?

For some of my clients, this is about finding a new job in an organisation that is more aligned to their values. For others, it is changing career entirely but firstly finding out what that career change will look like. For others, it may be learning a new skill to help them develop in their current role.

What is the one small step you can take now that will make a positive difference to your career in 6 months’ time?

Plan for shorter days and longer nights

When the autumn starts rolling in, we all dread the longer periods of dark that this entails, don't we? As the Northern Hemisphere points away from the sun due to the Earth's axial tilt, our periods of daylight become increasingly shorter. This means that we have to create some artificial light and warmth.

If your career feels like it's suffering from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder, it's time to fire up the metaphorical log burner and inject some warmth and light. But how to do this?

The trick here is to warm things up in your current situation and an easy way to do this is by focusing on improving the human connections you experience at work.

How are your working relationships? Write down a list of everyone that you work with and give that relationship a score out of 10. Now look at your scores and ask, "Are these relationships as good as they should be?" and "Which scores in particular would I like to improve?".

Now make yourself a A/W 21 Action Plan to improve one or two of those relationships. This could be more regular catchups with your line manager, reaching out and offering your help on a project, getting back in touch with a former client or supplier. And don't forget your external networks either!

Which relationships could you improve right now that will be of most benefit to you in the future?

(PS this exercise can work in your personal life too)

Enjoy Autumn's colourful display

With all this planning for Spring and hunkering down, it's easy to forget that Autumn is a BEAUTIFUL season in nature with plants firing off colourful displays everywhere we look. Apparently (I had to look it up!) this change in colour is due to hormonal changes in the leaves (I can relate!) that happen before the tree sheds its leaves.

So, my final tip about this season is: Don't forget about the beauty that is already on display within you and your career.

If you need reminding of your deeply coloured hues, I would highly recommend trying one or two of the following:

  • seek feedback from friends and family about what they appreciate in you;
  • go back over past feedback (work or personal) and look for key themes about what your strengths are;
  • do a strengths assessment (you know where to come);
  • keep a folder of all the compliments you receive now and in the future - dip into it regularly;
  • create a wall of post-it notes with some of your strengths and talents on display - keep it in daily sight.

I hope this email has given you some ideas of how to approach the coming A/W 21 Season with intention. It's always important to look after yourself as well as your career so make sure you get lots of fresh autumnal air and enjoy cosying up with a good book, glass of wine, hot chocolate or Netflix - whatever helps you relax!

As ever, let me know your plans and I'm always here to keep you accountable!

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