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A woman at a lunch table with her chin in her hand, looking up in thought.

Career reflections at year end

By Rosie Barry

Brief, December 7, 2005

The work world has become more stressful, and work at the University is no different. For those serving as representatives on one of the U's strategic positioning task forces, there's an added set of stressors. Over the coming months, your job may take you in a new direction. Transition times can be viewed in a positive or negative light. As director of Employee Career Enrichment Program, my work is to energize and encourage people who are going through transition and change.

Give yourself the gift of reflection

Career Compass: Navigating Your Career Strategically in the New Century, by Peggy Simonsen. Davies-Black Publishing, Palo Alto, California, 2000.

Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life, by Kevin Cashman. Executive Excellence Publishing, Provo, Utah, 1998.

Life Launch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, by Frederic M. Hudson and Pamela D. McLean. Hudson Institute Press, Santa Barbara, California, 2000.

Love It, Don't Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work, by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, 2003.

Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life, by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, 2002.

During change, many people find it helpful to take the time to think about their work, what they like about it, and what they'd like to change. Most of us are so busy that we rarely do this. First, just think about it, then set a few goals for development.

If you are celebrating holidays this month, they can add yet another set of stressors. But they can also provide an opportunity for you to take stock of where you're going in your career. January and the start of a new year can mark a fresh beginning in your work life. It may be time to learn a new skill or to move in a different direction. It's never too late to try something new.

Take some time to check into helpful books or add them to your wish list (see sidebar, left). This can be the perfect time to get ideas or a new perspective on your career. What's next for you? What would you like to do in the future? Just considering possibilities can be energizing.

Spring workshop and course schedule begins in January

The Employee Career Enrichment Program offers many different courses and workshops designed to spark an interest, renew your work energy, or get you moving in that new direction. Look for a fresh slate of opportunities coming up for professional development and growth. Plan now to take a workshop on a career topic. The spring semester schedule begins in January. Check out course options at http://www.umn.edu/ohr/careerdev/workshops.
Rosie Barry is assistant director of the Center for Human Resource Development (CHRD)/Employee Career Enrichment Program, Twin Cities campus.