Happy holidays. Regardless of whether you observe and celebrate Christmas or not, I send all good wishes for joy, prosperity and fulfillment during this season and the New Year. As many of us begin to dim the holiday lights, I’m pushing the pause button to take a last fond look at our friend Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.Rudolph

I’m taking a fresh look at Rudolph after talking with a family friend, Julian Sinclair.  Julian believes that story of Rudolph's triumphant run transcends the holidays; Rudolph's story is a parable for dealing with obstacles, popularity contests, and the everyday decision of whether to quit or stay the course. As Julian sees it, the story of Rudolph is all about the “then” clauses: Rudolph stood out from the crowd, was shunned by his peers for his difference in appearance, and was only fully accepted after his help was solicited by his boss ("Santa") Once he saved the day by using the source of his “weakness” as a beacon to guide the way for everyone, then other people paid attention. It took a foggy night for others to see and appreciate the benefits that being different could bring to his team.

If you’re like me, you, too, can empathize with Rudolph: Ever worked in a job where your skills didn’t line up with the job? Or where you felt you were writing with the wrong hand all the time as your job didn’t require you to do the work that came most naturally to you? Or where you just weren't a fit with your peers?

If yes, you know how painful it is to work in the wrong role—and if you’re still stuck in that situation, you have two choices:

  • Wait for the equivalent of a “foggy night” at your organization in which you can show your strengths and demonstrate your skills to your peers.
  •  Start pursuing new opportunities that align with your natural work style, strengths, and preferences.

As it's hard to predict opportunities to prove your mettle at work, I've found option 2 is quicker and more efficient--unless you have a work situation in which you can voluntter to take on new responsibilities that do fit with your strengths. Want help getting to the next step? Contact me, and I will help you move forward to find your best fit. It’s cool to be Rudolph—one day of the year—but it’s even better to have a career you love, for the 250+  days a year you are likely to be at work!

Happy Holidays and to Your Success in 2010,