I graduated from law school in May and took the Indiana Bar Exam last week. When I say that I graduated from law school, I mean that for four years I worked during the day in Human Resources at Apex Benefits and in the evening I went to law school.
On the weekends, I studied and fought for four years to hang onto everything personal and professional. In the last seven days, I have had time on my hands, which has felt incredibly uncomfortable.
I was looking for something in my garage over the weekend and ran across a photo album that I decorated when I was 16 years old. In 16-year-old fashion, I decorated it with ads that spoke to me. (I even had to go to the pharmacy to get the film developed. (Stay tuned for that history lesson in another post.)
No one who knows me would be surprised to know the quote I put on the front cover was, “You’re not always preparing for a race. You’re not always preparing for a triathlon. But you’re always preparing.”
I had to laugh out loud because, for better or worse, I am always preparing for the next step in my life even when I take time off. I’ve learned through trial and a lot of error that restorative periods are necessary to prepare ourselves and our teams and coworkers for the next big push and initiative.
Like me, do you ask yourself, “What seminars/webinars/classes will prepare me for the next project or phase of my career?” Or, “What am I doing today to prepare for tomorrow?”
Even in my career, I always refer to projects as helping leadership “cross the finish line” on an organization’s human capital goals in order to drive the bottom line. When I work with managers on optimizing his or her teams’ strengths, I always ask, “How are you supporting their development?” And, “How are you ensuring that they are not too burned out for the next initiative?”
So I ask you, “How is your team preparing for the next initiative?” And, “What are you doing for your own development to avoid burnout?”
Whether it’s law school, returning to running or ensuring that I am padding my schedule with self-care time in order to recover from the last four years, I am always preparing for what may come next.
My final question – as a certified human resources consultant, J.D., and champion of continuous growth and learning – to you is, “What are you preparing for and how can I help you get there?”