New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. The end of the year has me reflecting on all that has happened in the last 12 months. What changes or adjustments would I like to make in 2019? It is also the time of year for New Year’s resolutions. I’d like to make a resolution I can keep – not abandon after a few weeks.
Last January, I was told that my contract as a teacher would not be renewed. I had months to go before I was truly unemployed. Through a series of very fortunate circumstances, I was selected to lead the Center for Technology & Workforce Solutions (CTWS). It is remarkable how a job can create or destroy one’s happiness and self-worth. Whereas a year ago I was unsettled at work and unsure of what the future would bring, I am now deeply engaged and happy in a job where I am working intensely and more creatively on a subject that really is the foundation of so many successful endeavors in the world today – expanding the tech workforce.
This week the Center is co-authoring a study with CompTIA and WorkXO entitled, “Mapping the Tech Industry’s Culture DNA.” This paper identifies the key organizational behaviors that drive success in the industry and those that are getting in the way. The focus of the study is to look at the culture of the workplace and see what can be done to improve it.
The idea that work and home should be in balance, is of particular interest to me. As the report says, “the tech profession – and the organizations that host it – have the most to gain from doing more [to]… help professionals integrate their work with their lives.”
For teachers, it is difficult to separate work from a personal life. Bringing work home is not limited to correcting papers and planning curriculum. Too often, teachers bring the stresses from work home as well. The empathy that makes a teacher successful at connecting with – and teaching – students is hard to confine to the schoolhouse. I could not stop myself from thinking about my students and how best to serve them just because I had stepped out of the building. My work followed me everywhere.
I still find myself working at home. Yes, telecommuting is a growing phenomenon and I do take advantage of this opportunity. But how does a person find a balance when technology has made it increasingly easy to work from anywhere, anytime?
My New Year’s resolution is to find ways to limit my work to, well, the workplace. Now, I know I won’t be able to leave everything at the office but, if I don’t commit to something, I will not achieve much of anything. How can I map out realistic, attainable steps to reach my goal? How do I practice what I preach? Our research shows that it is important for industry to do a better job of integrating work and home. Therefore, my second resolution must be to figure out how to make the Center a better place to work as well.
Are you and your company going to support a more seamless integration between work and life? As I create a plan for myself and my organization, I wonder, what can we do to honor the importance of work and home equally? What is your New Year’s resolution and what are the steps you plan to take to get there? And how can we help each other be accountable? If you are already active with me on LinkedIn, invite a friend to join us in following through with our resolutions. If not, please link with me here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-hyman-37481710/
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David Hyman is the president of the Center for Technology & Workforce Solutions (CTWS). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.