I love the end of summer – almost as much as I love the beginning of summer. These two periods of my year bring significant changes to the way I think work and play.
The beginning of the summer starts of time of relaxation and holidays for many of us. This is a time to recharge and begin to gather strength for the new season ahead.
For me, the end of summer is a time to leverage the recharging that just went on and take a deep dive into the exciting months to come. I often find myself working on my professional strategic plan during the weeks of August – focusing on the implementation phase in September.
For many of us this, regeneration and strategic planning for the Fall is often just a repeat of the plan from a year ago. No change. Doing our jobs better – but the same jobs. Working better with people – but the same people. Approaching our work a little differently – but the same work.
Celia Krampien wrote an article in the Globe and Mail (March, 2013) entitled “Why You Should Take a Leap at Work” in which she advises us to take a leap outside our professional worlds every once in awhile. She says “plunge into new projects and activities, interact with different people who can help you grow, and experiment with different (and probably uncomfortable) ways of getting things done.”
In other words, shake things up a bit.
I take time this time of the year to review everything I am doing and how I am doing it. Am I still doing the right thing in the right way? This is an opportunity to shake things up.
By taking a leap outside the normal, we challenge ourselves to do things differently, think differently and work differently.
Krampien offers suggestions to help us take the leap.
- study other people doing similar jobs and learn different approaches.
- redefining your network
There were more ideas but I like these two simple ideas. By watching other people, successful and maybe even unsuccessful, we can learn a lot about our own work processes and systems. Watching others and being open to other ideas can certainly set us on a path of change and growth. I can never talk long enough about extending our networks. This is the time of year I look at my key professional and even personal relationships and go through the process of evaluating how I’ve done based on some relationship strategizing I’ve done in the past.
So take time this season to think about what you do now, how you do it and who you do it with and for. Is there an opportunity to approach some of this differently?
Take a leap, make a change and then watch.
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