Thankful

11/19/2013

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As we head into Thanksgiving, most people pause to consider what they are thankful for in their lives. It is a time to put things in perspective and appreciate things, both big and small, that make us happy. While we tend to be thankful about things in our personal lives (and rightfully so), I would also encourage you to think about what you are thankful for in your professional life. Is it a colleague that helped you with a project, a boss who supported you through a tough assignment, a client who was appreciative of your efforts? 

It is not always easy to be thankful when things may not be going well - chances are we all have something in our personal or professional lives that we are struggling with.  Even that colleague or friend that seems to have it all is likely dealing with something you may never know. Take a minute to put your struggles aside and appreciate the things that ARE going well for you, because while everyone is likely to have a struggle or obstacle in their life, everyone also has something to be thankful for. And just as importantly, take a moment to pay it forward and let that colleague or boss, friend or relative know that you are thankful for them. Chances are you will make their day...and make them just as thankful. 

Debbie Millin is President of UpperLevel Solutions – a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim Chief Operating Officer services, operational assessments as a health check or as part of due diligence, and  executive project leadership.

www.upperlevelsolutions.com
 
 
I am a proud graduate of Bentley University, and often attend events at their Waltham campus.  While on campus between meetings, I found a little spot to get some work done at the end of the hallway on the second floor of LaCava.  As I set myself up on the couch to catch up on my email, I watched well-dressed students streaming in and out of the Career Services offices. I was so captivated by what I heard and saw that my work took a back-seat and instead I just observed.

Bentley’s theme of ‘Prepared’ is not just a marketing tag line – it is a core value of the University. This became obvious as I watched students heading to their interviews with potential employers. Not only do Bentley students have the business skills and the exposure to the latest technology and tools, they are polished – well dressed, well spoken, and professional. Having first -hand experience with the Career Services team over the past 20 years, I am aware of the amazing programs they offer students and alumni on resume writing, interviewing, and anything else related to getting a job. Their approach of engaging students as freshmen to plan out their 4 years to prepare for their first job is one of the many reasons that Bentley’s Career Services has been named one of the best in the country.

In many cases during my impromptu observation session, I could not see the student and interviewer, I could only HEAR them – which made it even more impressive. Students were confident without being cocky, proactively engaged in conversation with their interviewer, and expressed their excitement for the interview with a polished professionalism that was better than some experienced professionals I have interviewed in my career. I felt a great sense of pride that these students are representing Bentley, and that they will enter the workforce just as that theme promised – prepared.



Debbie Millin is President of UpperLevel Solutions – a Boston-based firm
offering part-time and interim Chief Operating Officer services, operational assessments as a health check or as part of due diligence, and executive 
project leadership.

www.upperlevelsolutions.com

 
 
My daughter is a senior in high school this year - that means we are going through a lot of endings and the last time she'll do the things that she has loved: the last field hockey season, the last play, the last 24 hour relay. While those endings are sometimes sad, it really just means there is a whole world of beginnings waiting for her on the other side.

This applies to all of us, regardless of whether we work at a corporation or lead our own company. We are continuously met with endings - a client ending their engagement, a co-worker leaving for another job, getting laid off. Change isn't always easy, but it is a major part of business - and life. Staying still isn't an option. And really, what fun would that be. It's natural for us to look at these endings as a 'loss', but it's important for us to look at each ending as an opportunity.  For a new job, a new co-worker and friend, a new and more profitable client. 

As we approach the end of 2013, take a look back at the endings you had this year and what ended up happening as a result. Just as importantly, think about what new beginnings you want for 2014 and what you are going to do to make sure that you get them. It's good to remember and respect the past, but don't let it hold you back. Get ready to leap into your future.

Debbie Millin is President of UpperLevel Solutions – a Boston-based firm offering part-time and interim Chief Operating Officer services, operational assessments as a health check or as part of due diligence, and executive  
project leadership.

www.upperlevelsolutions.com