“Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion.” - Simon Sinek
New Year’s Resolution: Workplace Self-Care
At Hello Workwell, we’re obsessed with workplace self-care. Why? Simple: we spend more time working than not, whether that work is in an office or in the home. We tend to ignore the core elements of our selves - body, mind, and soul - until there is a crisis. We’re resolving to change that in 2019.
Research studies show that the most common New Year’s Resolutions are losing weight, exercising more, and quitting smoking. Next in line include resolutions to manage debt, save money, get a better job, go back to school, take a trip, and volunteer more. All of these resolutions can be achieved during the ‘work’ day with a little planning and flexibility.
Four Steps to Successful Resolutions
It seems we all set bold, audacious goals for ourselves and by the third week in January, we’re beating ourselves up for falling short on our plans. If you are considering (and we know you are) making a resolution, the good news is that there is scientific evidence that suggests that by making a resolution you are 10 times more likely to succeed in your goal. But resolving to achieve it is not enough - you need to follow four core steps to increase your chances that you will have made the change you are looking for by June.
Let’s start with one of our most favorite New Year’s resolutions: getting a better job. Setting your sights on something new, better, and different is an exciting, and daunting, prospect. For the majority of people, they are looking for a job that not only pays the bills (and then some) but for work that makes them feel like they are contributing to something greater than themselves. There’s no denying that work feeds your soul so if you’re determined to make a change in 2019, here’s how you can get started:
Step One: Write down
No, it doesn’t start with your resume; it starts with your purpose. Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, challenges us to “imagine a world in which the vast majority of us wake up inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.” Um, yes, please! If you don’t want to read the book, start with this simple exercise:
Start by clearly stating your objective: I want to find a new job.
Ask “why.” Your answer might be: “So I can make more money and be able to move into a better house.” Be sure to write it down.
Ask “why” again: “So I can feel I have accomplished something.”
Why? What would feeling more accomplished do? “So I can be more happy with myself and do things I know I’m capable of.”
Your own “why” exercise might be more detailed or take fewer “whys.” The point is to keep asking “why” until you arrive at your ultimate reason for pursuing your goal.
Step Two: Make a Plan
You can use a spreadsheet or a notebook or a small monthly planner. The first week is all about researching companies that you’re interested in; build a wishlist. Add a little extra by researching your list of companies — are they in the news for anything? Next add a list of the job titles that you are going after, an important step when you start refining your resume. Keep all of this information somewhere accessible.
Week two. Build three resumes - a generalist version, and then two different versions that fit the job titles you are going after. Our sister company, Talentedly, has a career coach supported program called The Careerist - you may want to check it out.
Week three. Spend time connecting with your references. Monster.com notes that “there’s no telling which employers will ask for professional references, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and reconnect with anyone who can vouch for various skills and capabilities. Before beginning your job search, reach out to past co-workers, managers, professors — anyone you feel will have something valuable (and positive) to say about you to potential employers.” Good advice.
Week four. Continue the day-to-day of looking for a new job. Set aside thirty minutes every day to follow up, find an after-work networking event, or spend the time reaching out to people in your network that may be of help (read our tip on Skype networking here).
Step Three: Prepare yourself mentally
Experts estimate that it can take roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn. So, in theory, if you were looking to earn $60,000 a year, your job search could take six months. That means that you will be dedicating a lot of time to your job search and there may not be a ‘payday’ for quite some time. How can you prepare yourself for this journey? Here are a few tips from The Ladders we love:
Open up to someone about your search. Chances are, they’ve experienced your struggles and will help you refine your action plan.
Give yourself a pep-talk. Create a list of brags and pin it somewhere you can see it when you feel down. What compliments have you received about your work? When did you win out in a tough situation? This list works according to the progress principle, which states that when you sustain good feelings about the small wins, you function more productively by finding the meaning in what you do.
Take a mental health day. Give yourself a day off every ten days. No guilt, no remorse. Just do something that rejuvenates you and, to a certain degree, is a reward to yourself for all the hard work you’re putting into this resolution.
Step Four: Adjust and refine
If it doesn’t feel right, change it. If you aren’t making progress, take a step back and re-evaluate your approach. People often feel obligated to ‘stay-the-course’ because they’ve invested the time and energy. Don’t get caught in that trap, this de-motivates you and can create that defeatist mentality. By changing elements of your plan and your approach, you can find the motivation to persist. One of the best motivators is going through your why exercise again because it will remind you why you started this journey in the first place.
Legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Achieving any New Year’s resolution takes time, energy and remembering that the most important thing is just to keep on going.