Career Tips Over Coffee: Donuts

Written by:

Susan Hodge

You might be wondering what donuts and career tips have in common.  Actually, very little…except for the analogy I created about making changes in our lives. I wrote the following piece several years ago when I was writing a blog about personal change. Given it’s January and many of you are setting goals and making resolutions, a piece about change seemed relevant.  I hope you enjoy it!

Each day after I take my niece and nephew to school I turn left out the school parking lot.  I turn left, in the opposite direction of my home, travel a mile or so out of my way and pull into the local donut shop.  It is run by a nice couple whose name I don’t know, but I know about their family, their travels, their ancestors, and the current state of the donut business.  I get a small coffee and a donut then head on my way.

This is a nice break in the morning and I used to do it occasionally.  Now it’s a habit.  In fact, it’s hard for me NOT to turn left and go to the donut shop…even when I don’t feel like having a donut.

Here’s the problem. Caffeine does not agree with me. 

It makes me irritable, impatient, and generally tense. Sugar does not agree with me. It makes me irritable, impatient, and generally tense. And it makes me want more of it.  So why do I go to the donut shop?  I’ve convinced myself that this is a reward for getting the children off to school successfully.  Why do I reward myself with something that makes me feel bad?  It’s become a habit.

I’m changing directions.  When I pull out of the school parking lot, I now turn right.  I WANT to turn left…but I turn right and head towards the office or the gym.  I miss the owners of the donut shop and will occasionally stop in because I believe in supporting local business.  But for my health and well being, I turn right.”

In the new year, where do you plan to “turn right”?

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