Celebrating Small Victories

Being a graduate student, working full-time, and having a family requires a lot of smart time management. In fact, as I write this, my daughter is making a drawing to put in my office and my son is saying “Daddy, sit down” as he pats the couch seat next to him.  I’ll be honest–most of this month was really tough in balancing my kids, my wife, school, the new leadership initiative, and the new job.  I go to class Tuesday through Thursday.  Every other day, I get to be with my family.  When I am playing with my kids, I don’t think about school.  My attention is focused on playing toys with them.  Everyday before I leave for work, I make a drawing and leave it for them to find when they wake up.  When I get home, my daughter has often drawn something else on it and/or written her name.  It is a small exchange, but it matters so much.

When I am doing schoolwork, I am almost completely focused on schoolwork!  But (in addition still wanting to play with my kids), I wonder about how I can bring my HR education into my job. Being in a sales-account position has made this task a little tricky.  One of the turning points came during a conference that I helped to host back in March.  I basically asked everyone in the company what they had learned in the conference and what they were using from the conference.  The results turned out well and lent support to propose another conference next year. Last year’s conference was a great way to funnel some of my HR training into a work context– and having the opportunity to do it again is encouraging!  Another “distraction” was that I put a proposal forward to help an organization by doing some pro-bono HR consulting work.  This allows me to serve a very charitable organization and it provides another tangible outlet for my developing HR skills.

Exchanging the drawing with my children matters.  Telling my wife, as much as possible, how much I appreciate her, is a victory.  Finding ways to integrate school into practical settings is exciting.  Some of these things may sound small, but celebrating these little occurrences is what helps remind me of why I am going to school and that I am making progress towards my goals.