What plans do you have for your career in 2011?

Where ever you are, what ever time zone your in and however you are planning to see in the New Year - 2011 is approaching fast.

As well as finalizing last minute arrangements and making "Happy New Year" calls and texts to family and friends, your thoughts are likely to be turning to New Years Resolutions. Thinking about the ones that didn't get kept in 2010 and what you are hoping for the year ahead.

As the Times Square Ball in New York is in place, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the London Eye and venues all around the world have the fireworks ready to go - there may not be too much you can do to salvage 2010's unkept resolutions. 2010 is pretty well done, whether your goals were achieved or not, 2011 is a do-over. It's time to think about where you are now and what you want your for your future.

As I write this blog (from sunny Sydney with only 8 hours until 2011) the top trending topic worldwide on twitter is #myresolution.  Some resolutions are very specific like weight loss, income and business goals. Others are big picture with people posting about the type of people they want to be. There's also some that tickled my funny bone like '#myresolution is 1280 by 1064 pixels'.

Whether you are into the yearly resolution process or not - it's hard for the topic not to nag you or at least cross your mind.

To help out your thinking here's 10 quotes I've come across in the last couple of days that might prompt you to dream big.

1. Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right! - Henry Ford

2. Whatever you are, be a good one - Abraham Lincoln

3. Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground - Theodore Roosevelt

4. This is your world. Shape it or someone else will - Gary Lew

5. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams - Henry David Thoreau

6. The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do - Thomas Edison

7. Success is a matter of luck. Ask any failure - Earl Nightingale

8. Never, never, never, never give up - Winston Churchill

9. It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney

10. When it is obvious the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps - Confucius

And some final words for 2010 from Oscar Wilde, "Life is too important to be taken seriously".

Enjoy your celebrations and contemplations and I look forward to connecting with you in 2011.

Happy New Year!

- Karen

2010 Project You Review

Project You Review in Today's Financial Woman
Well 2010 as a career year is pretty well done and dusted. If you're like me there are still presents to be bought and wrapped, stockings to be stuffed, and turkeys, puddings and other treats to be cooked and devoured. And then there are the plans to be made to celebrate New Years Eve. It doesn't leave a whole lot of time left to review how your career development has shaped up in 2010.

Now is the time to spend with family and friends - and to take some time out to re-energize and recharge. There will be plenty of time to review 2010 when you are making your New Years resolutions and plans for the year ahead.

As I wrote in the latest issue, The Round Up, of Today's Financial Woman magazine, reviewing Project You - and how your career development is progressing - needs to be treated with the same focus and importance as you would treat any project you are assigned to work on at work.

In that article I outline some last minute things you can do in the closing days of 2010 to kick some goals and put yourself in a good position for next year. These ranged from setting up some networking coffees to approaching a possible mentor. Time is running out for this year now, but if the approaching Christmas break and good will and cheer in the office does provide just the right opportunity to say "can we catch up next year for a chat/coffee?" take it, suggest a time and lock it in yours (and their) diary!

For everything else, we can leave it aside for a couple of weeks (but then we will get serious!)

Enjoy this week!


P.S. Sorry this is so short but I have to go get my Christmas cake out of the oven!

Pockets, Perfume and Piercings

The 43-page dress code that is being trialed by the United Bank of Switzerland in 5 of it's Swiss branches is the subject of much discussion today.

From the business end of town and the Wall Street Journal to blogs and social media sites - the absolute level of 'advice' being provided to employees by the bank is being reported and ridiculed.

For women the advice includes that pockets should be empty; perfume should be applied straight after a shower when pores are still open, skin is wet and body lotion has been applied; and piercings (except earrings) are completely prohibited. Oh, and underwear must be flesh coloured!

For men, it's just as bad with instructions that tie knots must match the 'morphology' of their face. Hopefully they are also issuing dictionaries with the new dress code.

I feel quote sorry for the HR department. How are they going to enforce the underwear color restriction? Or the 'do you have body lotion on under that perfume' rule?

 I get that UBS are trying to impress their customers and have their employees represent the image of the bank. And there are lots of rules of thumb and dress codes that can help you reinforce your professional credibility. But this seems to be an excellent example of something that has gone from the 'sublime to the ridiculous'.

For me, apart from the obvious inability to enforce their 'suggestions' it's the removal of options and personal choice that grates. But all-in-all it's a bit silly.

What do you think?


P.S. Doesn't really impact me though, given I don't have a Swiss bank account ...

Dear Readers, I can explain ...

Red Velvet Cup Cakes at Dean &
Deluca in New York - one of the
 experiences that kept me from
blogging over the last
couple of weeks!
The curious incident of the dog who did nothing in the night time was significant to Sherlock Holmes in the classic 'Silver Blaze' mystery. And quirky enough that the absence of something happening made famous the lines by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,

"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.

Not quite as famous or significant as a Sherlock Holmes mystery, is the absence of my blog posts over the last 3 weeks. Not a long time for me, but I understand that in Internet time (which is many times faster than even dog years) this is something equivalent to an eon. Or more!
However, whilst you may not have been noticing the absence of blogs I have been busy. Very busy learning, observing and refreshing my energy through travel and new experiences.
In the last three weeks I have witnessed a modern day miracle, seen absolute joy, connected with inspiring people, shopped til I almost dropped and had a host of new experiences. Most of these were unplanned but came about as part of my rejuvenation plan to end 2010 and take some time out to refresh and re-energize.
Which has done me the world of good as I look forward to a relaxing Christmas break and a very productive 2011.
Taking some time out is crucial not only for balance but to ensure that you are capable of operating at your best - at whatever it is you do. Presenting yourself as fresh and energized can have a big impact on how people view you and your capabilities. 
New research shows that getting enough sleep is also important to the judgements people make about others. The Independent in the U.K. reports that getting enough sleep makes people look more attractive and healthier. When you look healthier - by getting enough sleep, holidaying or however you choose to rejuvenate - it pays off - as others will make judgements that you look in control.
As we hurtle towards Christmas this is the perfect time to take time out, get some sleep and rejuvenate. That's my excuse anyway (and a pretty good one at that!)