1. When ‘No’ might be better as ‘Yes’
If someone offers you an opportunity, don’t dismiss it out of hand. I had a coffee the other day with a colleague I used to work with but a long time ago. He’s looking for a new role in the same industry as me and when I asked how I could help, connect him with any of my contacts, he replied with a flat ‘no, I don’t think so, no thanks.’
But he could have asked me out of all my contacts who did I think would be good to connect with? Just one or two people and he’d have saved himself some time, drunk some good coffee or even just met a new and interesting person. He might even have landed a new job.
2. Treat every day at work like it’s your first day in the job
On day one of the job you’re probably a little scared, you’re keen to impress, you’re excited and you’re ready to learn. You ask lots of questions because you don’t know the answers and you need to learn fast. And you even question a bit more deeply to understand why something is done in a certain way, and you may share other ways you’ve done it or could do it. Your ‘day one stance’ is very contagious and the added energy of the newbie, can lift you through the dull tasks later on and gets you thinking about other areas where you can make a difference and learn.
3. Treat every day at work like it’s your last day in the job
You’re off, you’ve handed in your notice, you’ve landed the super cool job and you have limited time left before you’re out of there. But first, you have to finish off all those things you’ve been putting off and check whether those skeletons are going to fall out of the cupboard when you’re not there to prop up the doors.
So you prioritise what you can finish, delegate and tackle everything swiftly and effectively. Some of those niggling projects might just need to be stood down and some of those skeletons aren’t really skeletons at all. Check in with yourself every week, if you were leaving in a month’s time, what would you do next?
4. Don’t eat all the chips! Generosity of mind and time is nutritious all round
I had lunch with a contact recently to catch up and see if there were any opportunities to work together and share some learnings. And with her sandwich came a small pot of skinny fries. As we talked, she became very focused on her work troubles, her future plans and her certainty about assessments of our businesses and industry. And I listened. And I asked her questions.
But as she spoke, she ate every single chip and offered me none. Suddenly our lunch was over she said, she had run out of time. And it struck me the chips were a symbol of how we’d somehow missed a connection. Try asking questions that might help your lunch date think and find new direction; share yourself a little, don’t just talk at someone.
5. Get out of the groove!
Try not to handle disappointment with bitterness, it becomes a visible habit.
Bitching about recruitment agents or maybe your former or current employer starts to become a habit and it brings other people down. It’s hard to hide the tone in your voice if it’s a tone that’s nearly always there. Humans read other humans within seconds, and persistent resentment shows up in your face.
Try adopting a new way to talk about your past or current role, and be open to conversations about colleagues you’ve found it hard to collaborate effectively with. Find a different emotion to tap into when you talk about this stuff and you’ll soon find it becomes the way you really do feel about that past. Get out of that groove and into something wonderful.