Reinvent Yourself and Your Career
Reinvent Yourself and Your Career
It may be time to take a hard look at how you can reinvent yourself and your career. Has a malaise descended on the job you‚Äôve been at for what seems an eternity? Does the landfill of documents and unfinished projects on your desk make your head spin and sap your motivation? Do you ponder the work you have to complete by noon and wonder when 5 p.m. will arrive? Do you lament losing the job satisfaction you once had when you couldn’t wait to get to work and no task was too tough?

What keeps you at this grind may be the respect you have earned as a trusted and valued member of the team. You like the people and don’t really want to leave, but if your latest review brought no raise or bonus despite the many hours of work you have put in, then it may be time to take a hard look at how you can rejuvenate your career and life.

As long as you really want to regain the energy and enthusiasm you once had, it is possible to turn things around. You must be willing to invest some time into finding renewed career and personal life satisfaction.

Must-do/Can-do

This is the non-discretional (and least fun) part of the process. It is an important step that must be completed before you can pursue changes. Most offices have “must-do” protocols to assure compliance with policies and procedures.

With a current copy of the office’s policies and procedures in hand, review what is expected of you. Can’t you live with these “must-dos”? You may need to reinvent how you do things, from arranging your workspace to how you seek permission to go into uncharted territory.

The discretion you have in your position, and what you can do to change or improve the way you are doing things are the principal “can-do” elements you have to consider. If you enjoy a great deal of latitude and individual discretion in your job, then use these privileges productively. Compare what you “can-do” to the “must do” list and find common ground.

Self-inflicted Wound?

Is your dissatisfaction self-inflicted? If, for example, you procrastinate on a “must-do” assignment that you find distasteful and consider unimportant, you are inviting disapproval and sniping memos to “get it done.”

Accept the fact that you can choose to continue shooting yourself in the foot, or you can accept this “must-do” assignment and find more effective and creative ways to get the job done. Avoid thinking of yourself as the victim or you will exhibit victim-like behavior – the kiss of death in most offices. There are assignments that are neither sexy nor gratifying, but they have to be done and you have to decide if you want to stay around to get them done.

Work Smarter

Assuming you do not want to leave your present job, what do you see within your control that could be done better and smarter? Be sure your expectations for yourself are realistic and be bold, but don’t overreach. Not what works and what doesn’t. If it is within your discretion, find more efficient standardized ways of making your job easier while completing “must-do” jobs within established parameters and deadlines.

Such approaches could include preparing checklists for repeat assignments and tasks within those assignments. Or, you could create boilerplate documents that you routinely use. See if there is room for delegation (following protocol, of course), instead of assuming complete responsibility for every part of the job. If there is no one to delegate to, find ways to streamline the steps in completing an assignment – you may be creating more work for yourself than you realize.

Carpe Diem

Finding the balance between your work life and your home life is vital in your career enhancement. If you are so exhausted from the job that you do nothing else beyond the office, then you could be on the way to burnout. Don’t take work home or go into the office on your off days unless you absolutely have to.

A career is not your sole identity. Spend time on the whole you and focus on activities that distance you from work. Develop a hobby or get back into something you once enjoyed. Creative outlets are particularly rewarding, but try anything new that appeals to you. The important thing is to have something that chases thoughts of work out of your head.

Balancing work with the rest of your life is essential to regaining enthusiasm for your job. That enthusiasm is what feeds the motivation needed to perform at the highest level in your work and as a person. Reinventing yourself is not always easy, but it is much preferred to losing yourself.

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