What is your New Year career resolution?

  • Post published:07/12/2012
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Being in Asia, there is little in the weather which tells you we are once again in the month of December. The festive holiday season is fast approaching and with that the tradition of a New Year’s resolution. It’s the time for reflecting on the changes we all want in the coming year.Have you made yours yet? What about one of these resolutions:

  • Start exercising to lose weight?
  • Quit smoking for a better health?
  • Reduce stress and be less grumpy?
  • Improve your career, get a better job?

A 2007 study from the University of Bristol showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. It was Albert Einstein who once said:

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough”.

Mr. Einstein was a theoretical physicist and humanist widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. He is most famous for his General Theories of Relativity and won a Nobel Prize in physics. He is also credited for this nice one-liner:

“Life is like riding a bicycle.
To keep your balance you must keep moving.”

I meet many candidates who I thought wanted a career, turns out they just wanted paychecks. Improving your compensation is obviously one of the motivations to make a move. But honestly, the warm fuzzy feeling is usually only felt when you stand in front of the ATM machine and see the amount that pops up on your bank statement. Turn around, walk away, return to the office and the salary is but a distance memory.

Back in the real life, it’s all about the job, your boss, your colleagues. How much fun do you have? Let me finish this year’s blog stories with a little nice story that I have seen making round on LinkedIn and other sites.

My best wishes to all readers for a peaceful year-end and a successful new year 2013.With or without New Year resolutions. Enjoy the story.

“A highly successful Human Resources Manager was tragically knocked down by a bus and was killed. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St. Peter welcomed her. “Before you get settled in,” he said, “We have a little problem. You see, we’ve never had a Human Resources Manager make it this far before and we’re not really sure what to do with you.”

“Oh, I see,” said the woman. “Can’t you just let me in?” “Well, I’d like to,” said St Peter “But I have higher orders. We’re instructed to let you have a day in hell and a day in heaven, and then you are to choose where you’d like to go for all eternity.”

“Actually, I think I’d prefer heaven”, said the woman. “Sorry, we have rules,” at which St. Peter put the HR Manager into the downward bound elevator. As the doors opened in hell she stepped out onto a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club, around her were many friends: past fellow executives, all smartly dressed, happy and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks, and they talked about old times. They played a perfect round of golf and afterwards went to the country club where she enjoyed a superb steak and lobster dinner.

She met the Devil (who was actually rather nice) and she had a wonderful night telling jokes and dancing. Before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everyone shook her hand and waved goodbye as she stepped into the elevator. The elevator went back up to heaven where St Peter was waiting for her.

“Now it’s time to spend a day in heaven,” he said.

So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds, playing the harp and singing, which was almost as enjoyable as her day in hell. At the day’s end St Peter returned.

“So,” he said, “You’ve spent a day in hell and you’ve spent a day in heaven. You must choose between the two.” The woman thought for a second and replied, “Well, heaven is certainly lovely, but I actually had a better time in hell. I choose hell.”

Accordingly, St. Peter took her to the elevator again and she went back down to hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends dressed in rags, picking up rubbish and putting it in old sacks.

The Devil approached and put his arm around her.

“I don’t understand,” stuttered the HR Manager, “Yesterday I was here, and there was a golf course and a country club. We ate lobster, and we danced and had a wonderful happy time. Now all there is, is just a dirty wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.”

The Devil simply looked at her and smiled. “Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you’re staff.”

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.