At MIT Medical, it’s the season of performance development reviews and goal setting for the next year. It’s a time for looking back and for looking forward. We are asked to share our accomplishments from the past year (sound familiar, Career Connect attendees?), and to think about what we want to achieve in the next year.
Although I don’t particularly enjoy the process, looking over my lists, notes, and calendar from the past year does give me a sense of fulfillment. As many of us do, I can get caught up in the day to day tasks and the urgent to-do items I need to do right this minute or I can start overthinking potential problems, obstacles, and the mistakes I’ve made. However, taking a little time to focus on what went well (no matter how small it might seem) gives me a feeling of satisfaction. I’ve made some progress, I tried something new, I had impact on someone or something.
In the end, perhaps I am fortunate that MIT Medical makes me go through this HR exercise every year. It forces me to stop and acknowledge what has changed in the past year and what I have succeeded at.
So now it’s your turn. What about your successes in the past year? Did you get a job? Did you have a baby? Congratulations! And even if your big dreams didn’t come true yet, I am 100% sure that you have accomplishments to be proud of. You moved away from your friends and family, you navigated a new city, your English got better, you supported your partner even if that meant a big sacrifice on your part. You took small steps towards your dreams (and sometimes I think we can only ever get anywhere by taking small, consistent steps), you overcame obstacles, and you learned a lot.
Need some help to think about what’s gone well - here is a short worksheet to help you reflect on the past months (click on the link or the picture to download the print version).
We here at MIT Spouses & Partners Connect see all that you have strived to do and achieve and we acknowledge the part you have played in your student’s or postdoc’s success. We honor your role at MIT, and we want you to be recognized. Thanks to Barbara Lipohar Staples, we created a MS&PC lapel pin for those of you whose spouse or partner is graduating this year. Pick up a pin from our office or in the Student Center during the week of May 30th. Wear it proudly at Commencement. Congratulate each other when you see another MS&PC wearing the pin. You deserve it!
And if your spouse or partner isn’t graduating, we still have something for you – an MS&PC luggage tag to accompany you on your travels, no matter where they take you. Pick up one from us (at the office or in the Student Center during the week of May 30th) or send us your address so we can mail one to you wherever you are in the world.
As always, I am honored to be on the journey with you.