Written by HRCap, Inc.
December 27, 2022
As we reach the end of the year, companies and organizations across the globe are all working hard to reach their quotas and meet their annual expectations. In fact, this time period has affected the work-life balance for most employees in America.
While productivity can be rewarding, a 2021 American Psychiatric Association poll found that Americans are five times more likely to find that their stress increases (41%) than it decreases (7%) during the holiday season. Aflac’s recent 2022 study shows that nearly 2 in 3 (70%) Americans admit they plan to do some work during the holiday season as well.
While we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday seasons, it is important to pay attention to reflecting, recharging, and recalibrating so we can be ready to welcome the new year. Whether it be through spending quality time with our families and loved ones, or spending some time in solitude to decompress, prioritizing our sources of happiness is key during this holiday season. This way, we can come back energized and even strong after the holiday season.
In our sixth and last “Leadership Table Talk” of 2022, we ask our CEO Andrew Sungsoo Kim about his own holiday traditions, what the holiday season means to him, his favorite Christmas memory, and how he plans for the new year.
1. What holiday traditions did you have when you were growing up?
Growing up in Korea, the Christmas holidays always meant a time for warmth, intimacy, and thanksgiving. Families and friends always gathered to share good food, joy, and past experiences, in great anticipation for the coming year. I always looked forward to Christmas and New Year’s, as it was a great time to meet new people and get renewed perspectives on the greater world.
We have continued this tradition as a family here in the U.S. -- we spend time celebrating Christmas mass, come together with family and friends over good food, and learn more about our ever-evolving world through each other's perspectives and unique experiences.
2. What do the holidays mean to you?
Holidays are a time to remember what we already have and how grateful we already are. I was once told as a child to live every day like it's Christmas day, and it has stuck with me ever since.
Every day is Christmas day, so I try to live every day by being thankful and happy of living a new day.
I also try to remember and reach out to those who are without family during the holiday season and organize get-togethers to bring them all together so that they can empathize with each other, meet new friends, and spend the holiday with fuller hearts (I know how lonely it feels to spend the holidays alone, since I too once spent the holidays alone here while my family was back in Korea).
3. What is your most cherished Christmas memory?
My most memorable Christmas was about 10 years ago. We went on a family vacation for the first time in years by visiting Cancun for Christmas weekend. It is our family tradition to always come together to celebrate Christmas mass together as a family, so it was no exception to find a Catholic Church in Cancun.
I remember it was above 100 degrees, and it was so incredibly hot. The church did not have air conditioning so there were fans everywhere trying to keep the heat down. Still, the entire congregation was eagerly praying in great excitement. Everyone was smiling and joyfully singing, and it reminded me once again to have a humble mind and joyful heart and to serve others in any condition. It was by far my favorite Christmas - a hot, sweaty, sunny Christmas.
4. How do you plan for the new year?
I reflect and review. In fact, I reflect every morning, but during the holiday season, I take more time to review the past year, reflect on my shortcomings, and plan for areas of personal growth for the coming year. I think about HRCap, our respective families, and the various communities we take part in. I reflect on how to be a stronger value to each. I also think about those who have made the past year special and reach out to thank them and pray for them for the coming year.
Thank you for a meaningful year of change and growth. Our teams worked tirelessly this year to serve our clients during an exceptionally difficult time, extended ourselves to meet all our candidates where they are in their career growth, and committed to giving back and growing our partnerships with meaningful communities that we passionately support.
It's always hard during a time of recession, but we look forward to finding greater stability and sustainable growth with you. In order to take a leap forward, we must always take a few steps back, and we look forward to supporting and serving you every step of the way. Happy Holidays!
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