It’s February! Shortest month in the year! A month we celebrate love. A great reminder to love and feel good about all you do for your career!

It’s also the second month of a new year. Are you still motivated to make this a great year for you and for your professional development? In the hustle and bustle of after holiday activities and the kickoff of business initiatives, oh and how can we forget the ups and downs, topsy turvy market in the first 30 days of the year! Phew! What a busy time for us all!

With all of this excitement, are you still focused on doing the things that bring you closer to your career aspirations? Do you feel like so much is happening that it’s tough to stay focused and committed to taking care of your career? What if I told you that it’s more important now than ever before?

Marketplace and economic changes occur all the time. There are always firsts…first of the month, first of the quarter, first of the half. Ongoing shifts and starts will happen. Don’t let these events get in your way or distract you from your goal. Do what feels good for your career and stay above the fray. How do you do this and feel good about it? Here are just two practical steps you can take in this current business climate, to keep you moving forward!

- Identify the coolest, calmest head in the midst of the rapid changes that are occurring in your business. Watch them closely. Should the opportunity present itself, ask for a 15 – 30 minute meeting to ask for their thoughts on what is happening today, listen and watch closely.

This is a phenomenal way to learn more about your business as well as significantly impact your own personal development. You will be amazed at what you learn from this simple exercise!

- Select an area of interest in your business that is experiencing the most change and churn. Observe, carefully, what’s happening and why. Arrange for some casual discussions with colleagues, mentors and leaders in your organization. Invite them for a cup of coffee; a walk to the cafeteria to get perspectives on what they think is happening. Start to capture these key observations in a notebook or journal. In a quiet moment, review and reflect on what was said. Come back to your notes in a month or after the next quarter, and see if anything has changed given what you’ve learned.

This step will give you incredible insights into what people think they see happening and what actually is. Imagine how valuable that will be to you in the future!

What would this new learning and knowledge do for your personal and professional development? Would you feel good about knowing more and learning more? When there is a swirl or storm blowing through a department or organization, everyone puts their heads down and tries to fly below the radar. Not you! You will take the opportunity to use this “perfect storm” to enhance your own knowledge and personal development!

These practical steps are a part of developing yourself personally and professionally. And even in the midst of all the activity around you, it still serves to help you feel good about what you do for your career!

Author's Bio: 

Chris Makell is a career development coach and consultant who works with mid career professionals to achieve quality results with less energy, accomplish goals more effectively and take ultimate control of their careers. If you are ready for greater success and a more fulfilling career, visit Aspire Career Services at to sign up for Aspirations, the free monthly career success journal, access resources, assessments, career tools, and receive 21 Simple Ways to Energize Your Career in 2008 as a free gift!