The last day at your old job is fast approaching, or perhaps it is here already. Your fresh start might have you enthused or scared witless—maybe even both. How do you take the first steps to a new beginning, though?
While the first few days may be difficult, it is normal to feel this way. You are outside your comfort zone. Maybe you escaped a toxic workplace but want to grow your experience in a certain sector. Perhaps your fresh start means a 180 in terms of your career.
Whatever your reasons, the truth is: Sometimes we want more than our qualifications, experience, or industry allow for. Fresh starts facilitate many things, including personal growth, professional development, and increased self-awareness.
The traditional career (or job) trajectory no longer exists. The world of work has changed drastically in just a few generations. Experts agree that many of us will change careers (and jobs) several times. Holding down a career or job for decades is a foreign concept for many of us. Ways of working, thinking, and achieving are constantly changing. Especially considering Covid-19 and how the rules of working from home have had to develop too.
We live in an age where we expect more of ourselves in all spheres of our lives. Often, our personal development is something we take as seriously as we do other aspects. Whether you choose sport, art classes, music lessons, or therapeutic writing to make sense of life, they all signal the wish to learn more, to do more, to become more.
How do I get going?
In forging a new beginning, you can create a new reality. So, here are a few things to consider:
- Take stock of what you want to achieve. Journaling is one way you can check in on yourself. Use this powerful tool to record your thoughts and feelings. Don’t know how? Check out this outstanding guide!
If journaling feels like something you just aren’t into, or can’t commit to, jot down a simple checklist every morning. Simple means only three tasks. Do not overextend yourself by having a to-do list as long as your arm because there is no way you can realistically concentrate and devote yourself to lots of unrelated tasks. Goals and tasks need to be achievable. You also need to set them according to priority.
- Learn from past mistakes. It is important to acknowledge past mistakes, but treat them as lessons rather than failures. Instead of seeing failure and success in a black and white dichotomy of wrong vs right, weigh up the insights in what you perceive as failure. When you understand what you need to, move on.
- Be grateful. Although many people may complain about their lot in life, few will take a leap of faith. Not everyone has the opportunity, or courage, to start afresh! Use your opportunities to reinvent yourself. Gratitude is a tool that enables us to change our thought patterns and habits.
You don’t have to be ambitious if you find yourself more in the ‘chronic complainer’ camp. Begin and end your day by thinking of just one thing you are grateful for. It’s easier than you think, and adopting gratitude becomes infectious. Every time you catch yourself in a negative rut, or find yourself ready to complain, step back and rephrase. How is this thing / person / situation benefitting me? Where’s the silver lining in all this?
- Persevere. It might be tough going at the beginning of your exciting change, but stick it out. Just like you have to rewire your brain to embrace gratitude instead of complaining, so too will you have to embrace perseverance instead of wanting to throw in the towel… Change calls for adaptability, flexibility, and consistency. Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself the best shot?
The same guidelines apply for all fresh starts
The good news is that there is no best time to start anew. There is also no right or wrong way to begin your journey. It is a matter of persevering with your decision and embracing your courage and conviction.
It doesn’t matter whether you are leaving a job behind, starting a new hobby, or learning a skill—your mindset ultimately decides your success. Do not measure success for all ventures in the same way, though, for how can we compare these experiences, or measure them against each other? Your definition of success, and failure, will vary according to what you want to achieve.
Go easy on yourself. Even if it takes longer for you to master something, at least you have taken the first steps! Think of fresh starts as new life lessons—as self-development—rather than a departure from an old habit, life, or a tried and tested way of doing things. Your approach can be as novel as you make it!