Search form

Career Coach: The Power of One

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson kicks off 2011 by reminding us reminds of the power of change to achieve personal growth.

Pamela Kleibrink


"Be the change that you want to see in the world." -- Mohandas Gandhi

2011 started on 1-1-11. The first day of a new year. And the first day of the rest of your life. What will you do with it?

The start of a new year means a fresh start for many people, whether it is formulating New Year's resolutions or setting new goals. But every day can be a fresh start, whether it is Jan. 1 or Aug. 9.

You have the power to change the world -- at least to change yours. One person -- you -- can make a difference in the world. You can make a difference to those people in your world -- your family, your friends, your co-workers, your community. You have the power to change your life and theirs. You can do it in small ways and tiny steps, by taking a minute to say, "I'm here to listen," to a family member, to say, "Hello," to a friend, to say, "How can I help?" to a co-worker, to say, "Thank you," to the waiter at the restaurant. You can give the gift of yourself and brighten someone's day -- surprise a neighbor with cookies, hold the door open for a mother carrying an infant into a store or sincerely compliment a family member or colleague.

You can make the world a better place by your presence. You know you can influence those around you in either a positive way or a negative way. So next time you meet someone new, why not greet him or her with a smile?

You might be one of those people that believes you can't make any changes because of the choices you've made in the past. But you can make small changes which can make a big difference.  Recently I was in Wal-Mart wandering the aisles looking for something and one of the employees stocking shelves noticed. He stopped what he was doing, asked me what I was looking for, and walked me over to the correct aisle and pointed to the item on the shelf. He had the attitude of helpful friendliness. Try that on your job and see how your job will change and how you will change and how your world will change. Small changes add up to big changes.

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read "Begin within." Change starts when you decide to take action and make a difference in your life. What's important to you? What would you like to change? Before you talk yourself out of it, realize that you have gone through many changes in your life to get where you are today.

What would you change about yourself and your world? The New Year often prompts people to make a fresh start but you can do it at any time. Why not begin a new you today? It's your choice to make a difference in your life and your world. You are the one with the power to become the person you want to be and to have an impact on your world -- your family, friends and community. Contribute generously with kindness and thoughtfulness. Every one of us has the power to make the world a better place.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter and career coach. She speaks at colleges and conferences around the world. She will be presenting her Career Strategies Workshop at Ringling College of Art and Design and the DAVE School in January. To contact Pamela for personal career coaching, recruiting or speaking engagements email her at She can also be found on Facebook or Linkedin.