Kicking off National Career Development Month with gratitude

During the month of November, many Americans begin looking forward to Thanksgiving and reflecting on those things that have brought them gratitude. In recognition of the holiday, some practice “thanks-living,” the act of recording at least one thing you are thankful for in your life for 30 days. The intention is to allow us to focus on all the blessings we have in our lives and appreciate the positive.

In addition to a time of thanks, November is also National Career Development month. As we can all probably attest, the term “career development” can have different meanings to different people.  What we can likely agree on is that career development has a considerable impact on how we feel about our jobs, which is significant since we spend the better part of our waking hours at work.

As the new leader of Crew Development at Vanguard, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on both National Career Development Month and the many, many people that have made my own career such a rich and fulfilling one. I have seen time and again the benefits of showing gratitude towards those who had an impact on my career development.   I also believe that my mindset of gratitude has made me a better colleague and leader overall.

With those thoughts in mind I wanted to share my thanks on this November 1st with:

My parents: Without their unwavering support of my education, most of my career achievements would not have been possible.

Minette B: My first boss out of college, for teaching me the value of candor at the onset of my career.

Anthony C: My Organizational Development “partner in crime” (or colleague) for many years, for his willingness to have an open dialogue with me on so many things; strategy, change management, diversity in the workplace, leadership standards, and much more that have made me a better leader and person.

Jennifer K: For a hand-written note she gave me when I was leaving Kohler Company that I will never forget.  Just thinking of her words still gives me goose bumps & cemented my desire to help people achieve fulfilling careers.

Laura K: My leader and role model at Kohler Company, for being a great example of what it really means to be a senior business leader (that just happens to be in HR).

Doug H: Of Whirlpool Corporation, for his selfless support of my career goals and unwavering belief in my abilities.

Tamara T: For her kindness, patience, and candor as my on-boarding buddy, who has been invaluable as I assimilate to a new role, company, and industry.

Lynda R: For seeing potential in me and being willing to take a chance on an external candidate for such an important role at Vanguard.

Richard L: Who is truly my better half, for his enduring support, love, and encouragement while also helping me make sure I keep my feet on the ground.

While writing this post it struck me how difficult it was to keep my list of thanks to a number where the proverbial Oscars music didn’t start up and I lost my audience… I consider myself fortunate that there are so many people who have had a tremendous impact on me in my career, even beyond this list. I am reminded of a simple quote from Margaret Cousins: “Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” With this in mind, on this November 1st I am asking all of you to challenge yourself in two ways:

  1. Think through and THANK those who have had a positive impact on your career.
  2. Ask yourself what actions you can take to be on someone else’s list next November.

–Kristin L.

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