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Experiencing thankfulness and growing in our profession

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:32 PM | Anonymous

Happy Thanksgiving! This greeting kicks off the holiday season in America. We've heard and said it often the past few weeks. Most of the time, we even consciously mean it. Yet, on occasion, this phrase feels no more than a routine thing to say throughout November. Although the pandemic lingers, so many things are returning to normal. So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to be both authentic and thankful, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the holidays as we pass Thanksgiving and go into December. What feels right and true nowadays? What am I truly grateful for? How can I express thankfulness in a way that feels genuine and is well-received?
As career developers, you can probably relate. Self-reflection is common in our profession. And, for such insight, I’m truly grateful. Because of our interest, skills, and talents, we are positioned to not only challenge ourselves to grow personally and professionally but are capable and equipped to do the same for others. That’s a gift that keeps on giving!
This also reminds me of ideas shared in our recent conference, Back to the Future, hosted virtually earlier this month. Over 50 attendees were challenged to explore awkwardness to strengthen ourselves and our inclusive relationships. We learned how mindfulness is one of many ways we can combat pandemic brain. And, in the spirit of looking at things differently, we can flip the script on the traditional résumé.

So, what’s the connection to thankfulness and authenticity? The conference revealed humans can be both authentic and awkward at the same time. For me, I can be truly thankful under stress if I remain intentional. I can choose to see what used to be normal from a different lens and know that it’s OK. I can experience and express gratitude honestly because I choose this perspective.

Perhaps most importantly, I can acknowledge not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons. That’s fine. In fact, that’s great because I can learn from that and better understand the perspective and meaningful transitions of others.
So, as you say and/or hear “Happy Thanksgiving” each year, consider those around you. Think about it, and take it in. Smile and give yourself, your heart, and your brain a chance to experience it in the spirit of peace, love and belongingness we all long for.
I’m thankful for you!

Inspired by you,
Dr. Aimeé C. Carter, GCDF, CCSP



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