How are you doing on your goals for the New Year? Are you still excited and bright eyed about your future?
I hope so, but sometimes as January starts to draw to close some of us start to lose our momentum. Whether we aren’t seeing results quickly enough, or making changes is harder than we anticipated, we can slow down and fall back into our old routines.
That is why today, I want to write about a change you can make without making a change at all – reinventing your career.
You don’t need to get a new job. You don’t need a promotion or different title. You just need to change the way you are doing things and make improvements that will make you more effective every day.
After all, you come to work every day, and you spend over 40 hours doing your job every week. Shouldn’t you be making the most of it?
I want to share some small strategies that can generate big results. Things that you can do that are easy, but will give you the chance to reinvent your current job (and your current self) into something much, much better.
How are you coming to work?
Remember when you first started your job? When you were so excited about what was next? I can remember my first day of being both excited, nervous, and determined to do my best.
I want you to think about how you start your days now. When you walk in the door what are you thinking about? Are you excited to be there? Are you optimistic and determined to make a good impression? Or have you become complacent and content with your status quo?
Why aren’t you bringing your best self to work?
Why would you do a job and not do your very best?
You should be proud of everything you say and do.
I know that when I have to come to work unenthused or uninspired it was because I felt like something was unfair, or I was unhappy about a situation. It was always my own emotions and how I felt about the situation that stood between being meh and being awesome. But that is the powerful thing – it is how you feel. It is how you think. And those things are within your control to change.
Tomorrow (or even today) make the decision to come to work as the very best version of yourself.
What are you tolerating right now?
This is one of my favorite questions to ask people I work with on a consulting basis. When it comes to work we fall into a routine, and we get comfortable, so much so that we start to tolerate things that we shouldn’t.
Maybe you have holes in your socks, or your desk is a mess, or your coworker continually interrupts your most productive time. Chances are there is something in your life that is going on that you just need to change.
Come up with a list and then set an appointment on your calendar to rectify that thing. You really don’t need to put up with anything besides the best. You deserve it.
Are you making an impact?
I know you are busy, but are you doing work that matters?
When we fall into the same ol’ patterns sometimes we need to take the time to actually reflect on how we are spending our time. It is easy to get caught in a cycle of answering emails, and going to meetings, and then calling that stuff work. While I am sure you are adding value, wouldn’t you add a lot more value if you were creating, building, thinking and contributing to something more than the process of getting things done?
Each week, take the time to list out your priorities for the week, set goals, and then block out the time to actually accomplish those things. When you focus on something, you make more progress. When you allocate more focused time, you accomplish more. If you don’t know what to accomplish that will really move the needle, you fall back on work that keeps you busy and occupied with your time (like email).
How can you make a bigger impact?
What is the highest priority thing you can do this week to make a difference to your team/company/family/health/etc.?
If you can’t answer those questions, then you need to set an appointment with yourself to think through them. If you need guidance, don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your manager or coach.
You should always try to find ways to make your work align with what is most important for your job.
For the rest of this week, make a list of your priorities and dedicate focused time to accomplishing them.
Are you someone everyone wants to work with?
Think about your favorite person at work. What are they like? How do they react when you ask them for help?
For most of us, this person is positive and upbeat. They may make us smile or laugh. They encourage us, help us, and listen when we speak.
Now, I want you to think about how you interact with your coworkers. Are you someone who brings a positive attitude and a lending hand to help get things done? Or do you complain and condemn, seeing the glass more empty than full?
If we were picking teams at work, the same way kids do for dodgeball, wouldn’t you like to be picked first?
These are easy changes to make. You can be a more focused listener – put down your phone and give someone your full attention. Listen to understand, not just to reply. Instead of commiserating and complaining about what is wrong, think about what is right. Come up with solutions instead of pointing out problems.
The next time you are having a conversation with someone, try to be the best coworker you can.
You don’t have to make a big change in order to change your life. Sometimes the best thing we can do to improve our world is just to change the way we are looking at it.
In what ways do you wish you could reinvent your life? What things do you wish you had that would make you happier, more productive, or feel more amazing at work?
Instead of wishing or complaining about what you don’t have, why don’t you create it right where you are right now? There are lots of ways to reinvent yourself, and lots of things you can do to improve. All you have to do is realize that you can.