By Mary Ann Faremouth,
The new year and the month of January always seems to have us reflect back on the previous year. It is a time when we put plans in motion to move forward in a better, more productive manner than in the year we left behind. The year 2021 is especially a year that we all are ready to create a better experience to see our personal and professional lives take a big leap in a more positive direction. We now have an opportunity to see the possibilities and probabilities of what might be achieved with a personal roadmap for success.
As I review this whole process, the Fourth Step of the Faremouth Method, “Take the Time to Do It Right,” really comes to mind. It’s great to say we are going to make big changes in many areas. To achieve positive results really does take time to think about where we have been, where we are now, and where we want to go. We have to have a system that allows us to get from the past, to the present, and then to the future. We know where we have been, and we’ve got a good understanding of where we are. How do we change that lens we look through to visualize where we want to be this year, next year, and in future years? None of that happens overnight or magically. There has to be a methodology to move us through the challenges into a time of reward.
A practice that has been touted through the ages by philosophers, scientists, medical practitioners, etc., to help one really focus on moving forward in a more positive direction is the practice of writing. The famous author, Julia Cameron, of the wildly successful book, “The Artist’s Way,” says it like this:
“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.”
As a young girl I wrote in my diary about so many episodes that were new and different. As an adult, writing classes have helped me process and shape my perspective of many changing situations in my life. What I felt by putting the words on paper allowed me a renewed understanding of what I had gone through, develop a more positive mindset of where I was and what I had accomplished. It provided a better roadmap with some concrete reasons of what I wanted my future to look like, with a better understanding of those steps and a devised plan of how to get there.
Life is really a “never ending story.” Some of the famous songwriters we listen to each and every day on the radio develop beautiful lyrics by experiencing some type of loss or sadness. They first put pen to paper and wrote down their thoughts and emotional response. They then composed a melody to go along with the words to express their message in the best possible way.
COVID-19 has had all of us wrestling with numerous “changing stories” that far reached past our personal and professional life. I have been on the receiving end of phone calls and emails from both candidates and employers confessing their fear and concern about the changes in the job market and the New Work World. I started to think about ways that helped me work through change. As an Executive Recruiter for over 30 years, it brought to mind the age-old practice of writing that might benefit folks going through so much interruption, especially in their career endeavors.
I decided to write a workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, a journal of sorts, designed to help people “Take the Time to Do It Right” by guiding one through a series of questions based on my Five Step “Faremouth Method.” By putting the words on paper, it allows a person a new understanding and positive mindset to move forward in their personal and professional lives. It also provides a base with a layering system to confront and recognize oneself for our true passions, talents and attributes. How can we best express the best version of ourselves in the right job?
We can call the process “journaling” when we actually go through self-reflection. Lisa Tams, with the Michigan State University Extension, talks about the benefits of journaling and goes on to say, “To reduce stress and improve mental and emotional well-being, keeping track of our thoughts, feelings and experiences can help us experience several benefits.” Some of those benefits are:
1. Journaling provides clarity.
Journaling is one of the best ways to clear your mind and get in touch with your thoughts and feelings, forcing you to focus on your internal awareness of the present and analyze your experiences. For the job seeker, it can provide much insight into your options and a solid roadmap as you investigate those possibilities for future success.
2. Journaling can reduce stress by serving as an emotional release of negative thoughts and feelings.
The process of having a method to help a job seeker move forward in challenging times can help dispel negativity and give hope and determination to move in a more positive direction. By recognizing negative tendencies, one can then bring them into focus and dissolve their effect.
3. Journaling can help improve physical health.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) found that patients struggling with a chronic illness who kept a journal about their thoughts experienced fewer physical symptoms than patients who did not journal. If the practice of journaling can assist the job seeker to reduce their stress levels, their immune system may stay stronger and a solid immune system is always a plus to keep a person more healthy.
4. Journaling helps with problem solving.
Writing down your challenges can inspire you to explore possible solutions. Amid evolving responsibilities and pandemic stressors, journaling can help us prevent losing track of, or abandoning, our goals. If the job candidate knows how their skills may be transferable in the New Work World, they are more likely to attack their job hunt in a more manageable and results oriented way. Seeing things on paper, gives us a much more constructive ability to see a guided path out of our circumstances. This goes back to the old practice of writing down the pros and cons on the left- and right-hand side of a sheet of paper to give us a clear example of our options.
5. Journaling can help with keeping things in perspective.
While we can’t control many stressful situations, trying our hand at journaling can help us better manage our thoughts and feelings to experience greater well-being and create a more positive mindset. Presenting ourselves in an interview to a prospective employer with a positive mindset and a determined spirit will always serve the interviewee better than the candidate who displayed negativity in the interview and without a determined plan of action to bring to the prospective company. A positive attitude and flexibility will go a long way in the interview.
Writing as our companion to change in the New Work World may serve the job candidates in a much more expansive and beneficial way going forward. If there are areas you are struggling with, consider the practice of journaling. In your quest to find that next career move or expand where you currently are in your professional life, take a look at my new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, and determine if the process of writing might be instrumental in your 2021 new Career Journey! To further you along in your process, in the next few months, there will be classes and workshops offered, based upon my workbook, to further enhance the journaling opportunities to assist you in your new career and life change. Check faremouth.com for upcoming schedule. Working with an experienced career consultant can help customize your practice of journaling for your particular circumstance and career advancement.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.