At work, it's very easy to fall into some kind of a rhythm. Especially when you feel like you know the job really well. And, if you're doing it for a very long time.
In my case, even though running my own business can be a bit of a permanent roller coaster ride, things can still get much of the same during 'regular season' - when contracts and projects are all in place.
And, for the most part, I believe that's a GOOD thing.
After all, who wants to be flapping about all the time?
It's great to have a bit of a sameness in what we do. It gives us some sense of continuity.
But, sameness can't offer one thing: GROWTH.
That's why every now and then, I try to break out of my comfort zone and do something new at work.
It can be a big new thing or a small one. As long as it's something I've never done before. It helps to grow my skills and be better at what I do.
Having said that, I like managing risk so I avoid the really terribly scary ones. As in, things where I might end up fired or lose a lot of money or hurt myself (or someone else).
But, whenever I feel like I'm ready for something new, here are some things that I think about:
1. What do I want to learn? I use this question as one of my first guideposts when thinking of something new to do at work. This is how I ended up teaching myself a lot of skills that have helped me to achieve my goals. Learning HTML, tweaking code, installing blogs, using new tools, photography...
This week, I've decided that I want to see if using a certain social media platform would be good to run ad campaigns on for a client. It was minimal cost and I know the data I will gather will not just be good for me, but also good for the client to know. So, it was worth testing out. When I did, I was pleased with what I found out. And, I'm hoping to keep using what I just learned.
2. What trends do I notice? I like looking at my social media streams for trends. I notice videos and news items that get shared (and re-shared a lot). I do a lot of a reading and watching from a number of sources - from newspapers and magazines to blogs and video sites. When I see certain trends, I try to figure how they can be useful in what I do.
For example, this Fast Company article talks about 8 new jobs that might be available by 2025. Some of them seem a bit far fetched, but it gives you an idea of what sort of thing is emerging in the market. It gives us some good insights on what skills are going to be useful to gain, and therefore, try now at work.
3. What do I love doing and how can I do it better? Doing something new doesn't always have to mean something different. What we're already doing can be made new again by expanding on - or delving deeper into - whatever it might be. Or sometimes, just to do something new to make it more fun.
I don't mind doing linear stuff at work, for example. You know, statistics, analysis, strategy development... But, I know I love being creative. So, I look for ways to incorporate my creativity into whatever I'm doing. Even if it's just improving the templates of my reports and proposals.
Of course, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the idea of trying to do new things at work. So, I try to tell myself that all I need at any given time is just one new thing.
Today, it was setting up new social media ad accounts for a client. Yesterday, it was running a post campaign to improve engagement and reach for an account. The other day, it was looking for new sources of content.
I also have a list of ideas to try and new tools to check out, in case I am just looking for something new that I haven't had the chance to try yet.
Oh, and if all else fails, I try to get a new gadget for work. That's always nice. 😉
I'm curious to know: What sort of new things have you tried for your work lately? How do you gauge your new work things?
This is my third entry to the #31Days of New blogging project, where I’m exploring the concept of #31Newness. If you have any suggestions on future "new" topics that you'd like to read, please let me know. I'd love to find out what you think.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.