Got That “Back-to-School” Mentality? Try Something New!

After all those years of starting a new school year each September, it’s natural to have the urge to begin something new at this time of year. Or learn something new. We have the mentality that September is about fresh starts and education, so why not apply that mentality at work?

It may not be as much fun as buying new pencils, erasers and notebooks, but this is a great time to roll up your sleeves and tackle something: a project, a promotion, a new skill. Let September be your time for a new beginning.

  • The last quarter of the work year is coming up. Why not try to end it on a high note? Look at your goals from your yearly review with your manager. How many of them have you achieved? How many can you complete, or exceed, in the next few months?
  • Do you have any projects that have been dragging on for months? Or that you’ve been avoiding? Take 5-10 minutes to look at each one and figure out what needs to be done to make them happen. That way they won’t be hanging over your head.
  • How about finding a new perspective on your everyday tasks? Consider these ideas:
    • Study a software program that you use all the time, and find a new feature from the “help” section or manual. You may discover something that will help you do your job better or more efficiently.
    • Read a business etiquette book. You can improve your career as well as your reputation.
    • Take a course or seminar that applies to your current position–or one you’d like to have.
  • One great way to clear your mind for the months ahead is a big purge. Much like cleaning your closets at home, clean out your drawers, file cabinets and your computer files. Archive files you don’t need, recycle papers you will no longer use, get rid of everything that is cluttering your virtual or actual workspace.
  • Who says you can’t go back to school, too? Between colleges and universities that offer evening programs and online degrees, you can still work full time and pursue new skills or earn a new degree. Figure out what you need to accomplish to advance in your career, and go after it, whether it’s a certification, a Bachelor’s degree, an MBA or just a refresher course.

This time of year can be more like “New Year’s” than January 1. It’s a great time to set goals, assess your surroundings and make adjustments to ensure your work year ends with a bang, not a whimper.

And why not treat yourself–go get some new pens, pencils and maybe some folders. Or a notebook. Just seeing some shiny, fresh supplies might be just what you need to launch your September success!