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.

32 comments to Are you bringing these with you?

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Client Stories

When I first met Lori, I was in a rut. Having spent 25 years in the same industry, I was bored, max’d out and didn't know what to do next.  I was pigeon-holed into an industry that I was not so fond of, and saw no way to get out.  I felt trapped. Lori understood my predicament, as she had seen it all before -- she was sympathetic, but resolute in knowing that she could help me find answers.  I took great solace in that! 

Through several sessions and dozens of exercises, I began to get a clearer picture of who I am, and where my strengths and talents truly lie.  Working with Lori, I was able to translate that understanding into updated, targeted resumes that quickly produced interviews and gave me the confidence to express myself better than ever before. 

Consulting a Career Coach should be mandatory for anyone in today's work force, and Lori is the best at her profession.

Robert J. Norris, Warrenville, IL