Starting a new job should mean a fresh start, but creating new healthy habits for the workplace means breaking out of old ones. Often, we move from one job to the next believing that the shift in our career will make us happy. However, if poor habits picked up in a negative career experience are not broken, dissatisfaction and burnout will follow you from job to job.
Here are 7 common bad habits you need to leave at your former job:
It’s critical you learn to set boundaries, first and foremost. Especially, when starting a new job, you’re inclined to not want to say “No,” to anything your new employer requests. However, this can set an unrealistic expectation that you can tackle more responsibilities than you can maintain.
This will, ultimately, make it harder for you to sustain your performance levels and can lead to burnout and stress. Break the habit of saying, “Yes” to everything and learn to set clear boundaries and expectations with peers and team leaders.
In some cases, employers put this pressure on employees to stay connected and always be available. But many times, you set this standard for yourself. It could be because your plate is too full and you have more work than you can do in a workday. Or it may be because you are preoccupied with your job enough that you cannot disconnect mentally.
Whatever has influenced your impulse to check emails and chat off the clock, you need to get it in check before you start your next job. Learning to separate work and home life gives you balance and helps you reset so you can perform your best and enjoy your time on and off the clock.
Occasionally, in the process of trying to stay disconnected from work after hours, we try to cram more productive time into our work day. This leads to skipping breaks and sometimes meals throughout the day. Not taking time to get up and stretch, eat, hydrate, and just look away from the screen, quickly leads to physical and mental burnout.
You can practice making self-care a priority on your job search by taking breaks for a quick walk and meals or blocking out set time to work on your professional portfolio, resumes and applications and strictly sticking to your schedule.
Stuff can pile up fast. Things on your desk, files on your drive, messages in your inbox – it can quickly spiral out of control. It’s possible, you’ve worked through the disorganization and developed coping mechanisms to be productive in the chaos. But you shouldn’t need a workaround to perform your best.
Create a habit of checking your email at a certain time each day and deleting or archiving messages you don’t need. Determine a system to file documents into folders or spreadsheets and commit to keeping everything organized day to day. This could mean blocking time at the end of the day to clean up your drive or desktop. Staying organized keeps you more efficient and less stressed when starting a new job.
Most people don’t procrastinate on purpose. It’s often a matter of countless responsibilities and a very long list of constantly growing priorities. Regardless of the reason you put off tasks that seem to roll over day after day, procrastination adds more stress to your workday.
Take a moment at the end of the day to assess what you’ve accomplished and start each day by rearranging your priorities. Unless something is truly urgent, let new priorities take a backseat while you knock out tasks that have been sitting for days. Checking boxes off a physical list, whether on your mobile device, in an app, or in a notebook helps keep you accountable and ensures you don’t miss anything important.
This falls into the “yes” bucket to some extent. If you’re telling everyone yes all the time, you’re bound to pack your schedule and inevitably burn out. However, often, you overbook and overwork in the process of trying to find a balance between work and life.
You may learn to disconnect from work, but add too many social events to your calendar. You may try to not procrastinate, and take on too many home improvement or organizational tasks. Balance is hard to achieve in today’s on-the-go culture. Sometimes, you need to just do nothing. Just read a book you like, watch a new show, take a bath, or spend some alone time. Learn to just stop ‘doing’ constantly and breathe a bit before starting a new job.
If you’ve had a negative experience with a manager or you’ve been on the job search for a long time, you’re possibly feeling a bit negative. And while you might be elated to get a new job, you may still have a nagging feeling something is going to go wrong. The ‘too good to be true’ cliche can grip on sometimes and keep you second-guessing your performance, approval, or even belonging to a team.
Break the negative cycle and stop assuming the worst. You don’t have to be a hopeless optimist to be positive in the workplace, but looking at situations objectively can help you see more of the positive developments that are happening in your life and your potential to achieve more.
Breaking bad habits makes room for exponential growth personally and professionally. You’re embarking on a career shift. There’s no better time to shake off anything that has held you back and clean the slate for a new, happier you.