3 steps to get back to that new employee feeling
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
New employees show up eager, optimistic and open. The blank slate of opportunity at a new job, often combined with the joy of leaving an old job, can be quite inspiring.
However, even those among us who truly enjoy our positions tend to face waning enthusiasm every now and again. And the eagerness with which we looked at new opportunities or the bring-it-on attitude with which we faced problems may be even harder to come by.
Instead of losing touch with them altogether, take these steps to get back to that new employee feeling.
Step 1: Get outside the box
The first and most challenging thing we need to do is check our experience at the door and take action. Enthusiasm is contagious; find something or someone that inspires enthusiasm and go get it.
Some steps may sound too easy, like watch a TED Talk or hit a networking seminar; our ego steps in, reminds us that we do not need to watch Simon Sinek again or learn the latest management trend. But we do.
Regardless of whether the content is new, doing something with the intent to spark our enthusiasm is new. The act of admitting our lackluster attitude and taking a step to addressing it sets us up for success. It is as easy as going to lunch with an enthusiastic colleague and asking her questions about her approach, attitude and inspiration.
Step 2: Embrace jargon
Oh, how I curse the latest hashtags and inspirational phrases written on canvas! However, they exist and persist for a reason: they resonate.
The idea of a simple phrase, explanation or quote that can explain, reframe or motivate is impactful. Take a few minutes to scroll through Demotivators, inspirational quotes or thought pieces until something sticks. Then, write it down on a Post-it and put it somewhere visible.
One of a few things may happen. It may serve as a serendipitous reminder, an annoying nag, or a fresh perspective. In any case, it will get our brains thinking in another direction. Sometimes that is all we need to refresh our attitude.
Step 3: None of the above
Perhaps our malaise is too pervasive for simple steps in a different direction. In that case, it can be helpful to fully embrace our apathy.
Specifically, like Step 1 above, if we are aware of our apathy and are at least thinking about changing it, we are already facing the right direction. Thus, calling out our disinterest blatantly and honestly can help us get our arms around how big and deep it may go.
Try finding someone else who is articulately cynical, whether a co-worker or online writer. Then, determine whether we are laughing with or at their observations; or how far away we are still from finding the humor in the situation.
Decide whether we believe this morose outlook will end or if we will be permanently afflicted. And again, do it all boldly. By posing severe, extreme questions to ourselves, we can determine whether we are facing a truly dire situation or not.
The bottom line is that we can channel that new employee approach whether we are in our second job in six years or 20 years; we just have to decide and try.
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