As 2016 winds to a close, we reflect back on the biggest news stories of the year. This year brought not only the most unique presidential race and election, but also the sad farewell to many loved celebrities, the emergence of the Zika virus, the wild Olympics in Rio, and more.
What do these major news stories have to do with your job or employment search? Perhaps more than you realize. We’ve taken the top job lessons from 2016’s biggest news stories and broken them down into tips you can apply every day.
1. Presidential Race and Election
America sat on the edge of its seat as the race for president heated up between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. Although Trump was elected president, many in the media and the nation didn’t think he had a chance … at first.
Are you underestimated in your job right now? Do you keep getting passed over for promotions or large projects because people do not think you have what it takes? Take a lesson from this year’s election by focusing on your strengths and letting those strengths be known. You can start by sharing any victories you accomplished this year. Create a detailed report stating what you have done to improve the company’s bottom line or operations.
Be assertive and speak up in meetings. If you have an idea, present it in a strong and confident manner. Do not be afraid to defend yourself if other co-workers attack or put you down. Don’t let being the underdog or the forgotten employee keep you from rising to the top.
2. Zika Virus Emerges
In 2016, a scary, little-known virus made headlines, spreading panic throughout the southern United States and South America. Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected mosquito and can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. No vaccine or medicine is available for Zika.
What employees can learn from this story is to always be prepared for the worst and take precautions to avoid risk. Every day, workers can find ways to anticipate work-related issues and take steps now to prevent those issues. Just like wearing bug spray and long sleeves can reduce the risk of mosquito bites, putting strategies in place to stave away problems in your job can be invaluable to your career health.
What are the biggest risks you face? What is the one problem your job solves? Make a list of what you can do now to prevent any disasters or illness from infecting your job security.
3. Rio Olympic Games
Some of the most inspiring headlines of the year were stories about Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. She captivated the world with her gold-medal performances and big smile at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. As explained in this Time magazine profile, Biles had to overcome some serious life challenges to get where she is today. Neither of her parents were able to raise her due to drug addiction and she spent some time in foster care before being adopted by her grandparents.
You may feel that life dealt you a bad hand, but that doesn’t limit where you can go with your career. Work hard. Stay positive. Make the most of your natural abilities. And like Simone, you too can excel.
4. Practice honesty, integrity, and transparency
One of the other major headliners to come out of the 2016 Olympics was the controversy over swimmer Ryan Lochte. The twelve-time medalist tarnished his reputation by behaving badly in a Rio gas station. Then, he fabricated a story to cover his actions, as detailed in this USA Today news article.
The valuable takeaway? Everyone makes mistakes—even when you’re at the top of your game. Owning up to them may be difficult, but employers value honesty and transparency.
5. Historic World Series
It’s been more than 100 years since the Chicago Cubs had a World Series. The story has it that the Cub’s losing “curse” began in 1945 when a local tavern owner and his goat (yes, he bought a ticket for it) were ejected from a ball game during a bid for the World Series.
Despite setting a record for the longest World Series drought in baseball, the Chicago Cubs players and their devoted fans persevered. In 2016, the team captured international attention as it won the pennant, then the World Series.
If you’ve been waiting for a well-deserved promotion or just hoping your boss will notice how much you contribute, don’t give up. Persevere. Like the Cubs, continue to do your best until you hit it out of the ballpark.
6. Celebrity Deaths
In 2016, we said goodbye to numerous beloved celebrities, including musicians David Bowie, Prince, Leon Russell, and Natalie Cole, as well as stars Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, and Merle Haggard, to name a few.
Job lessons learned from this are that change and loss are inevitable. You may lose your job, suffer setbacks, and lose co-workers or say goodbye to a favorite job task. How you react to these changes is important to surviving the loss and fear of the unknown. Be open to change. Be willing to learn new tasks in order to stay relevant.
Learn to let go of the past and embrace an exciting new future. If nothing changes, then your job, your career, and your motivation become stagnant. So while change may be painful at first, it can also lead to bigger and better things if you allow it to.
What do you think were the biggest stories of 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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