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 was looking to make large changes in my life, both job and city.  I was a happy midwestern resident for nearly 30 years but wanted to see what life on a coast was like and get a dream job.  This was a tall order and going into it I thought I would have to make large compromises on parts of my dreams to get any of it.  

I went to Lori to help me achieve these dreams.  It was the best decision I made.

She focused on two things right out of the gate:
  1. clarify my goals, both personal and professional
  2. get me to stop selling myself short

These twin achievements allowed me to approach my hunt with confidence, patience and focus.  My original dream job was to try and combine my technical joys with a personal one.  I enjoy large scale data processing with cutting edge tools, music and baseball.  Through the tools Lori taught me and helped me unearth in myself I got that gig that would have fallen into day dream territory before our work together.  

And yeah, there's platinum records on the walls of my lobby and I have tons of data to process.

Pat Christopher, Intelligence Engineer, Seattle, WA