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Reflection, Reviews, & Rearviews

“It was a quarter past dawn…

All the Whos, still a-bed,

All the Whos, still a-snooze,

When he packed up his sled.”

-Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I’m sure you know the rest of the story of the Grinch and the Who’s from Whoville. In fact, I’ll bet you can picture “All the Whos, still a-snooze” vividly in your mind. Like every great story, the words act as a vehicle to take your mind away from the present and into the events on the page. And that is the power of a story…it forces the reader or listener to see the world from your point of view.

“When we hear a fact, a few isolated areas of our brain light up, translating words and meanings. When we hear a story, however, our brain lights up like Las Vegas, tracing the chains of cause, effect, and meaning. Stories are not just stories; they are the best invention ever created for delivering mental models that drive behavior.”

-Daniel Coyle

Late December is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed and write down your greatest success stories. What did you do in 2018 that provided value to your stakeholders? What did you do that made you stand out from the crowd? What stories can you tell that will make someone’s brain “light up like Las Vegas”?

These are your SOAR stories (an acronym for Situation, Obstacles, Actions, Results), and SOAR Stories are your best friend for your year-end performance reviews and other employer communication. For job seekers, SOAR Stories create the most valuable items on your resume and will allow you to control any interview in an engaging manner.

As the year winds to a close, I encourage you to look in the rearview mirror and reflect upon your greatest SOAR Stories. Write them all down and create a year-end review for your employer. Find a copy of your resume and take this opportunity to update it with your best accomplishments.

If you are having a difficult time coming up with SOAR Stories for 2018, that is OK! Buy a notebook that is dedicated to documenting SOAR Stories and set a personal goal to record one each day. This daily act will become a habit, and will help you become more diligent in tracking, recording, and reporting your achievements in 2019.

A final note: This is my last post of 2018, but I am so excited about the things I have planned for 2019. In short, I believe that 2019 will be YOUR best year ever…not because you will get a new job, or become more successful, or make more money (although some of those may happen). I am excited because I know that at the end of the 365 days in 2019, you will feel that you have become the best possible version of yourself (or well on your way).

Here’s to looking back so we can look ahead,


Jason Boaz, PGA

PGA Career Consultant

Illinois and Wisconsin Sections of the PGA of America


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