· Features

Make kindness your kind of success

?As a society, we like to use the end of December as a marker for how life is going. In the bleary days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve where Terry’s Chocolate Orange is classed as one of your five-a-day and you forget what coffee tastes like without Baileys, it’s natural to scroll through memories and personal highlights of the past 12 months as if it was one big Instagram reel.

This year looks a little different. There have been empty chairs, lonely birthday celebrations, rescheduled plans, cancelled weddings, social unrest, political unrest, redundancies, a healthcare service at the brink, I’m a Celebrity... is taking place in a castle in Wales for crying out loud. We’re a nation on the edge.

What is it about 31 December that means we have to reset our current habits, personality traits and career aspirations? Must we use it as an arbitrary barometer to measure how successful our lives are?

I propose a new form of measurement: let’s scrap the calendar and instead gauge the success of a year on the number of people you have helped, and those who have helped you. Celebrate random acts of kindness from colleagues, family, friends and strangers and the daft jokes we tell to get by.

HR professionals are privileged to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on many people’s lives every single day. Rather than measuring the year on the holidays you’ve missed and the journeys never made, instead focus on the tremendous impact the people profession has made on millions of workers nationwide and what it can offer them for the future.

It may have seemed impossible at times, but look how far you have come. Cheers to you.

Jo Gallacher is editor of HR magazine

This article appears in the November/December 2020 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk.