This year, both managers and employees began returning to the office after a long time of working remotely. While many people crave the return to normal entirely, not everything has to return to pre-pandemic ways. Now may be the best time to reinvent yourself in ways you never felt you could before so you can take steps towards professional growth.
How to embrace change
Here are five ways to embrace change this year to bring out a new and better you, and—why not—a more productive you.
1. Evaluate your current life pace
Burnout is a serious issue for employees and leaders alike. More than half of employees surveyed by Indeed report feeling burned out, while 86 percent of high-potential leaders are at risk of burnout too.
Burnout and overworking may be an area to look at when reinventing your post-pandemic self. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How do I feel when I clock out at the end of the day?
- Do I have the energy to spend time with family and friends?
- Do I have time to pursue other interests or am I working, even when I’m off the clock?
As you return to the office, evaluate your current life pace to determine if it needs to change. You may need to create or ask for a right to disconnect policy for yourself and co-workers to make sure you’re not on-call 24/7. By setting these boundaries, you can prevent burnout and set your career up for long-term success, rather than short-term exhaustion.
2. Release what no longer serves you
If you’re having a hard time keeping up with your current work pace and preventing burnout, then it’s time to cut out parts of your day that you don’t need. Evaluate your day and identify aspects that you don’t need to keep up with.
- Are there any tasks that others can take on?
- Are there any meetings that you don’t need to attend?
- Are you working early and staying late, even if no one is asking you to?
Once you’ve audited your work life, turn to your personal life. Identify any social relationships or activities that cause more stress than benefits using these questions:
- Are there people who leave me feeling exhausted and stressed after I spend time with them?
- How can I shift my social life to be around people who support me?
- What obligations can I release?
- How can I say no more often?
You can improve your mental health, and reinvent the person you’ve become, by releasing yourself from the habits, patterns and relationships that slow you down. Also, learn to say no more often!
3. Take an honest look at your weaknesses
Embracing your weaknesses is actually a strength. Not only does it show that you’re willing to be honest with yourself, but it gives you an opportunity to change. If you want to reinvent yourself, this is a key step in doing so. As Thibaut Meurisse, author of Master Your Motivation, says:
“When you embrace your weaknesses, you can welcome the help and input of others without getting defensive. You simply own your weaknesses and see others as part of your growth, rather than potential threats.”
Use this as an opportunity to see where you can grow right now. See weaknesses as a sign post, guiding you toward opportunities to become a better, stronger, smarter version of yourself.
To do so, create a list of 5 to 10 weaknesses and then make a plan for how you can improve the top one. Slowly, you can focus on each weakness, making it a strength as you grow and learn.
4. Set new goals and recommit to old ones
The goals you create for yourself are similar to the vows you make to a spouse. They’re promises to work hard and remain dedicated in the present and in the future. As you return to the office, review your goals and determine:
- Which goals do you need to recommit to.
- Which new goals would you like to adopt.
- Which goals no longer matter any more.
Once you understand your future goals, it’s time to take the steps necessary to hold yourself accountable. A few accountability options include:
- Write your goals on a sticky note next to your keyboard.
- Spend time meditating on them each day.
- Ask a friend or co-worker to hold you accountable.
5. Find someone to grow with
Change takes time and is both exhausting and stressful. As you look to reinvent yourself, make sure you have a support system to help you through the process. This could be a peer who wants to grow with you or a leader who wants to see you thrive.
If you aren’t sure where to turn to find an accountability partner, it may be time to seek out a mentor. According to a survey of 3,000 people, 57 percent of junior-level employees have mentors, but only 8 percent of senior-level employees do. This is surprising considering 76 percent of respondents think mentors are either important or very important.
No matter how long you’ve been in your field, you can benefit from working with someone who can guide you into the future. Reinvention is hard, but with support, it can be enjoyable and even more successful.
Time to reinvent yourself
Use this post-pandemic time to finally make the changes you’ve been putting off.
These strategies can help you get from where you are to where you want to be, one small but powerful step at a time. And don’t forget that each tiny success gets you closer to attaining your goals.
With the right support, clear goals, an open mind toward weaknesses and honest self-evaluation, you can become who’ve always wanted to be.