We often talk about networking and self-promoting, but it’s hard to do this continually. I’ve found myself in a bit of a rut lately and have only managed to climb out in the past few weeks. For months, I’ve been thinking long-term about my current career and where I want to be. However, it’s only recently that I’ve been proactive about doing something about those goals rather than just daydreaming.
Sometimes we need to stop marinating a topic in our heads and actually move forward. I realized that I’d been thinking about career movement for so long that I hadn’t actually been intentional about how to get there. I’ve let months slip by out of lethargy.
Don’t get me wrong: sometimes, you do just need to focus on the present and do the best that you can do in the current season. There are some seasons where you need to let the ground lie fallow as you rejuvenate. However, sometimes it’s only winter, and even in the winter time, farmers are planning for the next year and buying seeds. Spring will come before you know it, then summer, then harvest time. Then you see the results of the work you put in.
So, how do we do this? It means keeping an eye out for jobs you want, even for jobs you’re not qualified for, to see for what requirements recruiters are asking. It means taking classes and attending seminars on honing the skills you need to move forward in your career. It means networking with people above you and people in the types of positions you want, always keeping your name out there.
You need to stay hungry. It’s the only way to not fall into complacency. Just like the best way to balance on one foot is to stare straight ahead, the best way to continually move forward is to continually look forward.
Recently, my husband Jon and I were able to take a trip to Scotland and Ireland for a couple weeks. We hiked, swam, toured castles, and ate lots of fish ‘n’ chips. While it’s never easy to go back to work, here are some of my methods to get the most out of your vacation so that you return to work energized:
This does not mean you have to do laps in the hotel pool every day. Maybe it’s as simple as walking to your dinner reservation instead of taking an Uber. Or maybe plan a day to see an outdoor exhibit. One of my favorite parts of the trip was hiking in a national park and spending a few hours climbing around the boulders of a waterfall.
2. Try Something New
Yes, this is rather cliche, but like exercise, it doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. For example, I tried gin-flavored ice cream when we were in Ireland. (I know it sounds weird, but it was amazing.) We also tried out surfing on a nearby beach. Most of the time was spent wiping out on the sand, but it was an incredible experience.
3. Talk to the Locals
As Rick Steves says, this can really “carbonate” a trip. We wound up sharing a restaurant table with some women from Edinburgh as we were on our way into the city. They were able to recommend some places for us to visit, but what made that conversation so memorable was that we were able to swap opinions on world news. It was so interesting hearing their thoughts on Brexit, President Trump, Scottish nationalism, etc. I felt very lucky that they were kind enough to chat with us for as long as they did; we learned a lot.
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We’ve all been there. A co-worker whispers something clandestine to you about someone else, and you have suddenly landed in the office gossip pool.
I’ve been in teams before where talk about each other ran rampant. And to be fair, sometimes, it’s simply discussing another teammate, not out of malice, but simply keeping up. One of my co-workers at one point was undergoing a divorce, and a friend and I were discussing it, in order to come up with ideas of how to cheer her up. Is that gossip?
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