Reflections and Lessons Learned

Yes, it’s that time of year again, and always, it’s arrived much too quickly. Every year we make our resolutions, many based on trends or what we think we should be or do. For this next round, let’s establish our new year approach based on how the previous year played out. And even better, on actions that will accentuate our better selves?
Instead of vague resolutions listed in a document, posted on a wall next to your desk or your refrigerator, receiving an occasional glance throughout the year, with minimal, if any, effort toward that goal, let’s try something different.
First, let’s reflect on the past year related to your employment status or business. We’re all moving so quickly that you may not think there aren’t any lessons to learn from the day-to-day of living. But let’s think back and begin with the significant good and not-so-good events.
For employees:

  • New Job – Failed Job Search
  • Promotion – No Promotion
  • Continuing Education – No Options for Growth
  • New Skills Learned – Same Routine

For employers:

  • New Hire – Poor Decision with New Hire
  • New Business – No New Clients/Customers
  • Great Vacations – No Time for Vacation
  • Positive Office Morale – High Turnover

If you look at the above sample scenarios, there are positive and negative, depending on how you look at the situation. For some, the status quo is acceptable, as you may feel each year has its ups and downs. For others, who want continued personal and professional growth, the second scenario in each option can be exhausting.
If “going with the flow” is okay with you, that’s cool, too, as everyone has their own perceived level of success.
But if you recognize areas where you could have done better or just plain hate that “it happened that way,” now’s a great time to identify options for positive change in the new year. There are no bad mistakes unless you continue to repeat those mistakes.
Let’s use a couple of the examples above and see the potential of how you can approach them differently.

New Job - Failed Job Search

If you found a new job last year and are happy, that's awesome.

But, if you actively searched for a new position with no meaningful offer, there are things you can do to plan for the next attempt.
  • Is your resume in order, with only truth on the paper? It’s easy to embellish, but a savvy employer will know what questions to ask to separate fact from fiction.
  • Did you practice with a colleague or recruiter to hone your interview skills? You may be the most experienced with all the needed skills, but it’s lost on the employer if you don’t know how to relay that information.
  • Are you interviewing with a company but need help understanding the culture of a potential company? That information isn’t always public but is critical to the life expectancy in an organization as it needs to be a good fit.
  • Have you reached out to a qualified solutions staffing firm? When you partner with a firm entrenched in your industry of interest, they will have insight into more opportunities AND help you understand the culture and how to put your best foot forward.

New Hire - Poor Decision with New Hire

You made a new hire, and that's fantastic.

 If you took the necessary steps during the interview process, you should be on your way to building your team. If it’s not working out as you envisioned, or you still have the position to fill, to follow are some critical steps, among others, to ensure a successful hire.
  • Create a detailed job description. Now is the time to write down the position’s responsibilities so that the future employee knows what to expect. Be realistic, as there’s nothing worse than a dispute over what was presented as the job role after the candidate joined your company. If this isn’t your cup of tea, talk to a professional recruiter who can help you outline the description so that it’s clear for everyone.
  • Define your culture. It may seem insignificant, but if this isn’t part of your communication with a potential employee, it could mean attempting to put a square peg in a round hole. A quick example would be hiring someone who is very “corporate,” where wearing a suit and a more structured environment makes them function at their best. But your culture is super relaxed, with lots of loose slang, and communication happens in no formal manner.
  • Consider working with a recruiter. A professional recruiter can manage the above scenarios so you can avoid the adverse outcomes you may currently be experiencing. And the bonus is you can locate someone who understands your industry and already has connections to candidates that will help make your company shine.

There are so many more things to focus on from the previous year but if you know what you want to happen, identify where you may have taken a wrong turn. It’s now the time to take the steps needed to be proactive about getting on the road that will take you there.

To follow are some other useful blogs that can help you reach your goals. There are many others if you enter keywords into our search, but to follow are some examples of how you can take action.

For employers:

For employees:


End of Quarter Check-in

For many, 2022 is the year to reset and recharge. Whether personally, professionally, or both, it’s vital to remain positive. As we head into the end of the 1st quarter, it’s time to take stock of what went right and wrong, at the end of each quarter.
Some may have goals in writing and hold themselves accountable based on what they plan to achieve. Others have that info in their head, which may work, but it’s easy to forget. Writing things down is usually the best approach, as you can visualize your accomplishments as you check items off.

Also, remember that it’s not just your own goals you should be aware of, but the goals of your customers and clients.

After all, if you are responsible for helping them reach even a part of their goals (i.e., securing quality talent), their needs should be part of your big picture thinking.
When you take on a new client, talk to them about where they see their organization heading.
Check out some of our ideas for keeping in tune with helping the people you serve in their growth.
  • Are they looking to expand their services?
  • Will they need to expand their team to ensure they meet the needs of their customers or clients?
  • If they have stakeholders, what are their expectations, and is there anything you can do to help them achieve their own goals?

Talk to them about their anticipated growth.

Don’t pressure them with heavy sales as that could backfire, especially if they aren’t ready to discuss future work. But, if you have regular conversations with them (at a minimum quarterly), you can be prepared to fulfill their future needs. When you act as an extension of their team, they’re more likely to include you in these conversations. Especially when they know you’re the expert at what you do and genuinely understand their business. In reality, you become a trusted advisor.

And as always, if you have new products or services, let them know about your latest offerings to demonstrate that you care about their growth. But again, don’t slam it down their throat and only include what’s relevant to their business.

Never stop planning.
We know all too well how things can change, so allow yourself to be flexible but as true to your path as possible. In summary, work on your goals but be there to assist with the goals of those you serve as when they grow, you grow.