New Year Resolutions: New Year, New Me?
I’ve never been a big subscriber to the “New Year, New Me” mantra. Building new habits can be hard, especially when put on display in the form of New Year’s resolutions shared on social media or a blog post, for all to follow along with, and have access to your successes or failures. Even more so when comparing your progress to the countless others who made similar resolutions, and the pressure that comes along with that. However, poetic timing has me embodying that cliché going into 2022 by taking a huge leap into a fresh career in a completely new sector, and entirely overhauling my work lifestyle. And, sharing all that via a social media post. Yikes, who even am I?!
Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself
Let me level with you- I’m new to the world of Public Relations, and even newer to finance, technology, and the chaotic world of cryptocurrencies. I have spent the past four years as the head Sales and Events Manager for a regional restaurant management group; prior to that, I worked with the group in Training and Development, stemming from my degrees in Education. While I have loved my time spent in hospitality, I came to the heartbreaking realization that I was no longer passionate about my work. The pandemic and all the hardships that befell the industry due to it certainly didn’t help, but it registered to me that I was no longer learning anything, and therefore not able to improve as either an employee or an individual.
However, I was unknowingly keeping myself from that tutelage I was craving. I spent a long time brushing off these new and hot topics that didn’t seem to apply to me, simply saying “Oh, I know nothing about that, it has nothing to do with me”, and being fine with it, because after all, why bother? I was an English Education major working in events. What did I need to know about FinTech or cryptocurrency? But that was the problem- the “why bother”. What a silly thing to think, and there was certainly no wondering why and how I lost my passion after hearing that. Why bother what? Improving and challenging myself? Finding ways to make new ideas fit what I do? Manifesting a shift that will bring about better habits? Be open to change and willing to learn? While I may not fully lean into them, there is no denying that the inherent need for New Year’s resolutions lies within the “why bother”.
What Do You Want from Me?
My resolutions are many, and I know that levels of success for them may vary. I want to learn all the new content, be open to practices that are foreign to me, not go crazy sitting at a desk after years of running around like crazy. Can’t make any promises, and I’m going to do my best. In addition, I know these are not goals that can simply be checked off a list- they will take patience and practice. Your own work-related New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be a complete refurbishment of your work life, and they should take time to accomplish. A few simple, grounding implementations can make a world of difference in your professional and personal satisfaction. They don’t all need to come from within the office, either. Spread them throughout different themes that relate back to work so you don’t need to feel so “New Year, New Me”. Maybe more “New Year, working on me”.
At work: Treat deadlines as a last resort
PR is a fast-paced industry, so deadlines are unavoidable. We all procrastinate and prioritize some tasks over others, but knowing how to build in the time needed for everything on your agenda is key. A weekly calendar or reminder list away from where you work can help keep you organized and make sure nothing gets lost in the buzz. For larger projects allow time for drafting, musing, and input. Productivity and a successful workflow come from smooth transitions. How can you expect yourself to seamlessly move onto, or feel good about starting your next task while left frazzled and fried from the last?
Outside of work: Attend local networking events
Even if, and in some cases, especially if, the event is not necessarily pertinent to your personal everyday work. All professionals need to practice discussing themselves and their roles with those who may not understand them. This helps not only socially (which deep down, we all know we need after the past two years), but also it will assist in the long run securing new business and explaining to potential clients why they need your services. Not to mention, it is an opportunity to support local venues hosting these events, which have struggled immensely through the shutdown and beyond. Double whammy!
Personal Relations: Find new ways to express gratitude towards coworkers and clients
I am a big believer in small gestures. Not every action needs to be as formal as a thank you card, but tiny tokens or mentions to let someone know you are aware of them as more than a work presence can be all it takes to make that person’s day and boost your own spirits. Do you know that someone in your cohort has a caffeine addiction? Pick up an extra latte on your way in if you have a free hand. Do you notice something over the weekend that makes you think about a particular client? Shoot over a quick note or use it to kick off your next meeting with them. At the end of the day, we’re all human, and want to know that we are seen, heard, and appreciated.
Ambient Education: Be open to all new learning opportunities
My personal favorite, as I plan on diving into the deep end on this one. I’m now working with a PR company focused on everything that “had nothing to do with me”. Yet, I knew this was going to be an incredible opportunity to jump into a world of topics I am unfamiliar with while using my mastered skills to support all other aspects of the job. Client relations, attention to detail, former English teach stickler for grammar and style- these are my bread and butter, and what I will lean on while learning new skills and subject matter. Do you think you’re a whiz at everything you do already? Deep dive into your favorite topics. Go my route and pick something out of your comfort zone. Anyone who thinks they know it all, truthfully, knows very little.
Here’s to changes, being open to learning, and keeping resolutions a work in progress in 2022!