Even if you don’t have children at school, it’s impossible to escape the New Term feeling around us in early September. The shops, newspapers and TV schedules all tell us that summer is over, as do the longer and colder nights. Unlike New Year, we are feeling relaxed and refreshed at the end of summer, rather than bloated and hungover as we often do in early January. It seems like a good time to review our lives and think about what we are going to do next.
It’s hard to know how other people see us and however they do, it’s even harder to try to be someone you are not. Most of us have probably reached a stage in life where we no longer try to fit in with other people’s ideas of what makes a useful or interesting person. That said, we almost certainly have characteristics which our friends readily identify and to which we are oblivious, or, at best, indifferent. Yet these characteristics are often the ones we should be using, developing or taking into new fields.
As I write, those of my children still at school have just broken up for the holidays and sun-filled weeks of carefree joy stretch ahead of them until September, after which they will go up a year and embark of the next stage of their educations refreshed and ready for the challenges ahead. Well, that’s the theory anyway. The reality of course will be squabbles, boredom, rainy days, lack of parental engagement, long car trips to disappointing places and, if we manage to fit it in, a trip to stay somewhere else where all these things will be intensified.
Being the boss, being self-employed, having a portfolio career, volunteering – these are all things I see Pluralists doing but all are environments where it can be hard to assess the gaps in your career development or to access the training you need.
‘Social responsibility’. It makes your heart sink a bit doesn’t it? Not the actual achievement but the knowledge that companies have to think of something to put on their website and into their constitution so it just becomes a box ticking exercise and nothing really changes. The main problem with social responsibility is that many of the things we need to