You know that fresh start feeling? The one where you get to re-define yourself?
You turn the page and boom – you get to intentionally choose which habits you want to leave behind, and which ones you want to lean into, or adopt new altogether.
But creating that blank page, actually moving to a new role and a new company, takes work, timing and risk.
While many of us will change jobs every three years (there’s evidence that suggests this is good for you), it’s not always feasible.
Here are 3 areas to focus on right now to create a fresh start where you stand, plus a bunch of tactics you can put into action immediately.
Prioritize good energy (choose your people)
- Make a list of your favourite people at work – the ones who give you energy – and make it your mission to get on their projects or involve them in yours.
- If your company is big enough, find some people you don’t know yet and have coffee dates with them.
- Find a person to mentor (officially or unofficially) – most people report that mentoring others is one of the most rewarding things they do.
- Join (or start!) a group or association – in your company, in your industry.
- Limit the time you spend with the people and situations that drain you most at work (this is often more achievable than you think it is).
- Imagine you were starting fresh in your current role – what would you like to be more knowledgeable about? Make that list.
- Pick 1-2 learning goals for the next 90 days, and learn those things. Then pick 1-2 more for the next 90 days. By the end of the year you’ll have added significant expertise to your tool box.
- Vary your learning sources. Take advantage of internal learning opportunities, but seek external ones too. What are the best conferences, books and podcasts on the subject?
- Learn directly from people. Who do you know who is an expert in what you want to know? This way you get to learn while growing and nurturing your network.
- Teach what you know. Teaching is one of the best ways to deepen your own knowledge – find an opportunity to share what you’re learning with a colleague, with your team, and beyond.
Play the long game
Here’s the truth: very few people play the long game. It’s not that they don’t want to or that they can’t – they’re just not thinking that way.
Playing the long game is the ultimate stress reducer when it comes to your career. Figuring out where you want to go in 10 or 15 years brings clarity to the present moment, and the right actions become obvious.
Even if you’re 100% sure you don’t want to be at your current company in 10 years, you can leverage your current role for the future you do want – create relationships, learn skills (see above!), target specific experiences. Here are 5 ways to play the long game:
- Create a long term vision for your career (if you want help with this, get in touch – or keep reading all the way to the bottom).
- Start paying attention to the people who have walked the road before you – meet them, read their books, go to their talks, listen to their wisdom.
- Identify the qualities, skills and experiences you’ll need, and actively seek opportunities to develop all three.
- Engage managers and mentors on the topic of your career development.
- Build relationships with your colleagues that go beyond the work.
While there’s nothing quite like a fresh start, there are things you can do to emulate one. Wherever you are in your career journey, the only thing standing between you and a fresh start is the decision to do it.
You know what to do my friend. Start. Now.
If you’re in the Toronto area, I have something special for you to kick off the new year. It’s a brand new free winter workshop: Design Your Career Around Your Values. Get all the details and secure your spot HERE.