Are you bringing these with you?

As you think about transitioning your career, what bad habits are you bringing with you? Do you think that if you just change jobs to a better one, all of your work problems will go away?

It’s possible that many of your frustrations can be dealt with by moving to a job doing work you love, in an environment in which you can thrive. It’s also possible that while working in your current environment you may have developed some bad habits. If left unchecked, you could inadvertently take them with you to your new environment. When that happens, it can leave you feeling very disappointed.

I have seen this happen with clients, and I have experienced it myself. I love what I do now. I spent a long time determining what my unique set of strengths and skills are, where that intersects with my passions, and what I need to thrive at work. But if I’m not careful, I can fall back into old habits of working long hours, not taking breaks, and feeling trapped.

I first discovered this one afternoon when I was sitting down for coffee with a friend. I was complaining about how much work there was to do, how exhausted I felt, and generall venting about all my worries. Suddenly, she put down her coffee cup, looked me in the eye, and said, “Lori, you are your own boss now. Why are you doing this? You know, you used to do this in your old jobs, too. If you’re not careful, you will burn yourself out, again.”

I went home and gave her comments careful thought. And I realized that I never intentionally developed new habits to go with my new career. I thought the old bad habits would just disappear, and new and better ones would automatically replace them. I began to realize that I had developed these bad habits, and carried them with me. And now it was time to replace the old habits with good ones.

Here are the signs that I experience when I fall back into old bad habits:

  • working longer hours,
  • skipping breaks,
  • drinking more caffeine,
  • worrying more,
  • spending more time alone,
  • focusing on the things I haven’t done,
  • skipping my workouts,
  • eating more junk and fewer healthy foods.

These are all clues for me. When I see these clues, I know I’m starting down the “bad habit” path. And it’s time to refocus my attention.

Here’s what I do to refocus on healthy habits:

  • Structure my schedule, planning time for work and play
  • Make a point to eat healthier foods, limiting caffeine and junk food
  • Work out first thing in the morning
  • Practice gratitude daily, listing 10 things I’m grateful for each morning
  • End the day by listing my accomplishments, and express gratitude for those.

Do you have bad habits you are bringing with you? What are the signs you look for?

I invite you to share them with me on my blog.

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Client Stories

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL