Lifestyle Gifts of the Spirit for the New Work World

Gifts of the Spirit for the New Work World

By Mary Ann Faremouth, CPC


Christmas in July is a long-standing tradition in many parts of the country, and the efforts of American retailers to sell Christmas products in July date to the 1880s. Some early birds take advantage of this time of year to get a jump on their holiday shopping for December.

But what if, this July, we thought about the meaning of “gifts” in a more intangible way? What if we considered gifts as not something we buy or wrap in pretty paper, but rather look at the gifts of spirit that might contribute to making the New Work World more enjoyable for ourselves and those around us? Or, like the title of well-known singer Patty LaBelle’s 1980s hit, we got a “New Attitude!” As a recruiter for over 30 years, I have seen the changes and challenges in the New Work World on a daily basis – talent shortages, remote/hybrid preferences, lack of technologically skilled candidates, just to name a few. But a new attitude of recognizing gifts of the spirit might have us all feeling so much better. It might give us more of the Christmas spirit as opposed to the spirit of the Grinch as we move forward in the New Work World.


Even some famous quotes about Christmas in July relate to adopting a new attitude or mindfulness that we could implement for more positive results in 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, now more than ever. With so many changes being thrust upon us, these uncertain times can feel overwhelming and fraught with a constant threat of irritation and fear. How will you cherish your own peace and goodwill? If you are an employer with jobs open for months on end, how can you perhaps look at transferrable skills to solve your staffing problems? If you are a candidate receiving your fifth rejection letter, how can you retool your interviewing skills to demonstrate your potential and worth in an honest and true way even if you don’t have the exact experience for the position for which you are applying?


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 give me insight into their passions and desires, as well as their dream jobs. I glean so much from the information they provide. If you are struggling to find good people, what if your hiring process became more magical because you decided to look at candidates with the right attitude of perseverance and determination, even if they lack the exact experience to check every box for the job requisites?

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 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 also famously said, “There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in contrast.” 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 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 made on Christmas Day. 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 ourselves? 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? What would happen if we held onto a positive mindset of caring and giving and did all we could to contribute? How about helping that co-worker who is struggling with the new computer software that you have mastered or coming in earlier to make sure that deadline is made for that important project your boss is stressed about?


This July, let the Christmas spirit take hold within you as you move forward in the New Work World and beyond. Let Christmas in July remind you that a Christmas state of mind, or new attitude, can change your work life 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. (

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.

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