By Mary Ann Faremouth,
Lately, every time I turn on the car radio, change TV channels, or walk into a retail store, it seems I am reminded of Christmas in July. It is a long-standing tradition in many parts of the country, and the efforts of American retailers to sell Christmas products in July date back to the 1880s. Some early birds take advantage of this time of year to get a jump on their holiday gift shopping for December.
However, Christmas in July may seem especially enticing this year, especially for those who missed out on celebrating the holidays in their traditional manner. And as a career and placement professional of many years, I’ve been thinking about what Christmas in July and the New Work World might have in common.
To some, any discussion of a correlation or relationship between these diametrically opposed ideas might sound rather outlandish. For others, it might bring smiles to their faces. But stay with me here, if you will. Let’s look at some famous quotes about Christmas in July that contain interesting ideas or lessons for us to ponder for the New Work World.
1. “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas” (Calvin Coolidge).
Our state of mind is crucial in the New Work World, now more than ever. With so many changes being thrust upon us, navigating these uncertain times can be overwhelming and fraught with a constant threat of irritation and fear. How will you cherish your own peace and goodwill? How will you radiate peace and goodwill during interviews if you were let go by your previous employer as part of a major downsizing or if you have been on numerous interviews that only resulted in rejection letters? Will you be plenteous in mercy for your situation or for a friend or relative who has gone through a tough time?
2. “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful” (Norman Vincent Peale).
In interviews, I often ask candidates: If you could wave a magic wand and have the perfect job, what would that job look like? Their answers to this question give me insight into their passions and desires, as well as their dream jobs. I glean so much information from the answers they provide.
As the “good witch” tells Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had the power.” You have the power to make your life a beautiful story throughout the year. Take on the spirit of Christmas and wave your own magic wand over your work world. You have the power to make it beautiful if you believe!
3. “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year” (Charles Dickens).
Christmas is traditionally known as the time of year when we join with those we hold dear, give gifts of a tangible or spiritual nature, make wonderful food, and show those we care about how important they are to us. What if we handled our lives like this all year? How would that change our quality of life?
Charles Dickens is also the author of the novel A Tale of Two Cities, the opening lines of which refer to the duality of life: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, . . . it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.” What if we focused on the positive spirit of Christmas all year, even in our darkest moments? How would that change our interactions and maybe even our results going forward in the New Work World?
4. “At Christmas, all roads lead home” (Marjorie Holmes).
During the holidays, I am always reminded of my childhood home in a Detroit suburb and the wonderful homemade ravioli my grandmother always made on Christmas Day. Similarly, as part of our new “Christmas in July” traditions, why don’t we think about coming home to who we really are? Why don’t we work on becoming our own best version of self? We can take a personal journey to our “inner home,” where we can align ourselves with the personal and professional gifts of our mind and spirit. Then we can offer those gifts to help others on their personal journeys of development and growth.
5. “Mankind is a great, an immense family. . . . This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas” (Pope John XXIII).
What if we took the word family and applied it to those in and around the New Work World? We all have gifts of spirit that we can share, and the future is ours to develop. What would happen if we held on to a positive mindset of caring and giving and did all we could to contribute to the New Work World? How would that change the arena we move forward in?
This July, let the Christmas spirit take hold within you as you move forward in the New Work World. Let Christmas in July remind you that a Christmas state of mind can change your work world in a positive way. It can lead you on a journey home to your best self and guide you in making a valuable contribution to your New Work World family!
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.