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I Wish I Had

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It's embarrassing how easily we slip back into former (bad) habits and how quickly we lose sight of our firmest resolutions. Perhaps if I go public once again with my resolutions, I can shame myself into adhering to them a little more faithfully.

Last March, I blogged about career success and mentioned some resolutions I had made after I had been laid off more than a year previously. I revealed having written a page of resolutions called, "I Wish I Had." Many people asked for a copy, so here it is, along with my renewed commitment to all it says.

I Wish I Had

I worked for my employer for exactly 24 years and 5 months when I was told that I was being laid off.   

My departure date was originally set for February 26. This was extended until June 30.
On June 30, I left as planned, signing the papers at 5:30 pm. At 8:30 pm, a different division obtained the final approvals they needed to offer me a job. They made the offer the following morning. I accepted.
From the time I was notified until the time when I actually departed, I had time to reflect. Often I thought,  "I wish I had done some things differently." 
Well, now I have that opportunity. I've decided to put those things in writing and I have resolved to do them, now that I have been given another chance.  
Therefore, I resolve to (more or less in order of priority): 
1.  Schedule time for my wife and kids as a first priority, not something I do when I get a free moment.
2.  Take better care of my health and fitness as a first priority.
3.  Take greater advantage of employment benefits.
4.  Create greater separation between work and personal life. 

  • Work more regular hours  
  • Protect meal times with the family  
  • Focus better so that I can do what I need to within reasonable hours
  • Keep work and personal stuff completely separate on my computers 

5.  Go to my employer's local facility more regularly to keep up with colleagues here.
6.  Back up my data frequently.
7.  Be better prepared to leave if this ever happens again
  • Cultivate my non-work network more carefully, especially in the Charlotte area.    
  • Have a very crisp resume that is always current. 
  • Keep my contacts lists (work-related and personal) current and complete. 

8.  Be more selective in what activities I agree to do outside of work.
9.  Be more selective in what extracurricular assignments I take on at work.
10.  Be more proactive in finding "my next job."
11.  Have some real mentors who take a genuine interest in my career.
12.  Have mentors outside of work.
13.  Care a lot about work, but not too much.
14.  Be very proactive in my employer's career development process.
15.  Blog. 


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I think these are great resolutions that apply to all of us. We are all guilty of not always having balance at the forefront. I think by definition, most PM's are driven people - driven to succeed, driven to advance in their organization, driven to perform at the highest level.

One has to always balance this drive though - I couldn't agree more with you in terms of putting family as your priority. I always think that you are actually a better professional when you can achieve this balance. You will actually find yourself being more efficient in your 'regular' work hours if you have that balance. Great tips for us all!

Thanks Jim for sharing the list. I feel it is really very emotional.

Always go by the saying "Enjoy your work but never love your company because you never know when your company stops loving you."

You made a good list of things to work on. I guess I should try and have a set of "I Wish I Hads" and "I Woulds" as well.

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