The past week@work marked the transition from the old year to the new. We have seen the last of the ‘best and worst of the year’ in every imaginable category and it’s time to turn our attention to the future. Here’s the problem; global issues, work issues, customer issues and career issues don’t magically resolve themselves at the stroke of midnight on 12/31.
What the new year does provide is a demarcation point in time, to set aside previous solutions and reimagine innovative answers. We have permission to start anew.
Rose Pastore offers a list of ’10 Issues That Will Shape the World In 2016′. Recognizing the continuum of events from the old year to the new – “The end of 2015 leaves many of the year’s most significant issues still very much in flux, including the reform of U.S. gun control laws, the fates of thousands of Syrian refugees, and the legal status of massive startups like Uber and Airbnb.”
Some of these issues seem so beyond our everyday lives that it may be hard to grasp a connection to our work and workplace. But somewhere, a diplomat, an entrepreneur, an educator or a student may seize the moment, and solve one piece of the puzzle, in one of our multiple global challenges: “the refugee crisis, climate change, data security, gun violence, social justice and regulating the sharing economy.”
“American workers are poised in 2016 to finally get what they’ve been missing for years: higher salaries.
…worker wages will get an additional boost from higher minimum wages taking effect in a number of cities and states. California’s new minimum pay goes to $10 an hour in January. The increase will amount to an 11% pay raise for Marco Ruiz, a carwash worker in Anaheim who earns $9 an hour.
That’s an additional $40 a week, more than enough to cover Ruiz’s bus fare to his job from his home in Norwalk, which he rents with his brother-in-law. “It’s marvelous,” said the divorced 35-year-old, who started at the carwash eight years ago making $7.50 an hour, the state’s minimum wage then.
Like Ruiz, most people in the U.S. already feel more secure in their jobs. As layoffs have receded sharply, weekly filings for new jobless benefits have fallen this year to numbers not seen since the early 1970s. And Gallup polls show workers’ “complete satisfaction” with job security rose to a 15-year high in summer 2014. Their overall satisfaction with pay, however, hasn’t returned to prerecession levels. In fact, many workers still feel that the recovery from the Great Recession passed them by.”
Early Saturday morning, author George R.R. Martin posted his admission, “THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished.”
The year ended and the author of the series, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’, publicly announced he had missed a deadline and gave us a glimpse of his creative process.
“Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, “I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER” on or before the last day of 2015.
But the book’s not done.
Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there’s a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. (Those ‘no pages done’ reports were insane, the usual garbage internet journalism that I have learned to despise). But there’s also a lot still left to write. I am months away still… and that’s if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t.) Chapters still to write, of course… but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures.”
“This time, though, Martin’s readers were quick to encourage him, with the more than 1,000 comments on his blog ranging from “Love your work, George! Get it done when it’s done. I’ll be there” to “Don’t sweat it, George” and “Take as long as you need to, sir”.
“That couldn’t have been fun to write,” wrote one reader in response to Martin’s blog. “But fact is in 50 years readers will judge on the book’s quality and not if they met some arbitrary deadline and beat the TV adaptation. As much as I’d like to see it released soon, I ultimately approve of the priority on quality.”
For all of you who have started the new year with a missed deadline, consider the lesson here. It’s impossible to live without failure. Even the most successful fail. It’s the next step in the lifelong learning process that matters, and that might be the most important thought to hold in the new year.
Minda Zetlin offers some timely practical advice, that George R. R. Martin might consider ‘Five Reasons You Should Make an Already-Done List Right Now’.
“…if you want to feel motivated, set that to-do list aside, and make a list of what you’ve already accomplished instead.
That advice comes from best-selling author and executive coach Wendy Capland. A while back, I wrote a column from an interview with Capland and as a follow-up we decided she would coach me and that I would write about it. These coaching sessions come with homework, and one recent assignment was to make a list of all the things I had already done to advance toward my most ambitious goals. It was something I’d never done before, and it was a revelation.”
Perhaps the best advice is to start the year with an accomplishments audit, focusing on the strengths derived from your success (and failure) and build on that foundation @work in the new year.