The average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work throughout their lifetime. That’s a huge chunk of our lives. Often, what we do is a huge part of our sense of self (for better or worse). Our enthusiasm for our jobs can go up and down depending. Sometimes we are super focused on our career, and other times we see is as a means to an end, a way to pay the bills, and be able to spend time with family and loved ones.
Reinventing yourself at work isn’t an overnight process. In fact, if you suddenly changed everything about your look and work persona overnight, it might seem a bit strange to your boss and colleagues.
Here are some of the reasons you may feel it’s time for a change.
You’re Starting A New Job
A new job is a clean slate. A fresh start. It’s the perfect opportunity to present yourself as you want to be seen by your new boss and colleagues.
You’re In A Rut
If you’ve been in your job for a while, you might feel that you’re just treading water and putting in the minimum effort you need to get your work done.
You’re Starting To Take Your Career Seriously
You want to start building your career and become a more professional employee and begin building your career. Perhaps you want to go after a promotion.
To Improve Your Reputation
Not everyone is the perfect employee. Maybe you’ve developed a bit of a reputation at work as someone who misses deadlines or isn’t very helpful. Whether this reputation is justified or not, it’s probably something that you want to change or you’ll find yourself unable to progress very far.
Ways To Reinvent Yourself
There are many ways to reinvent yourself at work. Some you can do relatively quickly, others take a little longer.
Change Your Look
The way we look and dress can have an amazing effect on our self-confidence. A little attention to your wardrobe and beauty routine can go a long way. Try a new hairstyle, if you’re not sure what styles to go for, head over to social media for some inspiration or have a look to find the best medium length haircuts and hairstyles to try this season. A few new outfits can word wonders too. There’s no need to be boring but try and stay in line with the dress policy at your workplace, but add your own personal style to it.
Improve Your Work Ethic
You’ve undoubtedly come across that post on social media that states that the following things require zero talent.
- Being on time
- Having a work ethic
- Body language
- Being coachable
- Doing extra
- Being prepared
While not as black and white as it’s usually made out, it is broadly true. There are many small changes you can make to your behaviour and attitude that will have a big effect on how people see you at work.
Acknowledge How People See You
Self-awareness is often one of the hardest parts of reinventing yourself. It’s rare for someone to see themselves in exactly how others see them. Now, this isn’t just an opportunity to find out all of the bad things people may or may not think about you. Instead, ask people to write down three positive words with regards to you you and your work.
This type of feedback is invaluable as you’ll be able to see where you are making an impact. If the same descriptive words are coming up over and over, then you know that these are your strengths. However, if you want to be seen as knowledgable or creative and these words aren’t showing up, then there is a good chance that this isn’t how you’re viewed.
Develop New Skills
In life, we should never stop learning, and that goes for work too. Fortunately, it has never been easier to develop new knowledge and skills. The internet is filled with articles, courses, and books for you to broaden your horizons.
Write down a list of skills you’d like to learn to be able to do your job better or get that promotion. Then set about learning them. It’s always a good idea to let people know you’re learning new things but in a subtle way.
Create A Strong Professional Network
All successful people have a good network in place. This is different from your team or other work colleagues. You need to broaden out your network to include people in your industry, peers, business contacts and mentors. Creating these links isn’t easy, but it can be done by attending relevant events. Participating in online forums and joining networking groups.
A professional network can be invaluable to your career and your professional development.
Find People That Inspire You
It’s important to know the difference between jealously and inspiration. If there’s that one person in the office who’s great at what they do and always seems to have it together, don’t be jealous. Instead, take inspiration from that person. Learn from them and model their behavior. It’s a much less toxic mindset to be in. Healthy competition is good, but constant negative reactions are not.
Look outside of your company for inspiration too. There are people to admire in all walks of life and careers. Maybe it’s an athlete that inspires you, or a politician or entrepreneur. Whoever they are, learn everything you can about them, and how they do things. You’ll find that they were inspired by others too.
Learn To Be Confident And Assertive
Knowing what you want and what you’re worth are huge advantages. Many people confuse being confident and assertive with being arrogant and aggressive. These are old fashioned views of workplace culture. You can still stand up for yourself without being aggressive or pushy.
Confidence can be portrayed in your body language and the way you speak, staying calm in heated situations and using language that isn’t accusatory.
Learn to capitalize on your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses. The constant fear of being found out is called ‘imposter syndrome’, even when you do have the skills. It is more common in women than men but is still a very real issue for a lot of people.
Whatever the reason for your decision, reinventing yourself professionally can bring a huge number of positives to your life. From being more confident in your existing role to climbing your way to your dream job, it’s something that most people do at least once during their career. You might be inspired to do it because you think people don’t have a particularly positive view of you and want to change that perception.
Some things you can put into action very quickly, such as your appearance, timekeeping, body language, and attitude. Other aspects of your transformation will take more time. For example, if you choose to work with a mentor, the process of building up your skills can take a while, but it’s worth it. You’ll benefit from this kind of inspiration for the rest of your career, and hopefully, be able to pay it forward and mentor someone yourself in the future.
Stay patient, trust the process, and work towards your goals. There will probably be some course corrections along the way but that’s to be expected. Before too long, you’ll become the professional you want to be and others will start to see you that way too.