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September 12, 2003

September 12, 2003

"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to

live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the
tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement."
-- Foster C. McClellan
Do you remember the excitement and anticipation of going back to school? New clothes, new shoes, new school supplies, a new teacher -- a fresh, new start full of possibilities. When is the last time you've felt the flood of emotions associated with going back to school?

You can apply these Back to School principles to your career -- whether you've been employed by the same company since you got out of college or are currently in career transition -- to give yourself a new attitude toward your career or your job search and find yourself filled with the excitement and anticipation of what lies ahead.

1. Think of it as a new beginning.

Take this time to reevaluate your goals or set new ones. What do you hope to achieve during the next "school year"? Just as in school, you have to be SMART when you set your goals. Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound.

2. Update your wardrobe.

There's something about putting on new clothes that puts a bounce in your step. You can't wait to put them on and begin your day. You may actually feel like you have more energy. They give you confidence to face the day ahead -- whether you are looking for a new job or just want to elevate your current one. Go ahead, go out and go "back to school shopping" for yourself.

3. Start with a clean desk.

Remember the wonderful smell of brand new crayons, markers and freshly sharpened pencils or the look and feel of brand new folders, notebooks and highlighters? You couldn't wait to pack up your backpack and head off to school. Create this same sense of newness by cleaning out your desk -- get rid of all the items that no longer work and replace them with new ones. Clear out papers from last year that are cluttering your workspace. Give yourself the gift of a new beginning. You will feel more energized when you begin your day and more efficient and productive throughout.

4. Get a good night's sleep.

Just as a good sleep routine was important in school, a good sleep routine helps you maintain a good attitude as you go about your job or job search. Make sure you are getting enough sleep to approach your day with enthusiasm and sustain your energy throughout your day.

5. Make new friends.

When is the last time you made a new friend? Returning to school each year meant the opportunity to meet new friends. New friends keep life exciting and introduce you to new possibilities. New friends may just hold the key to your next career opportunity. Many of us are scared off by the term "networking" which we've heard over and over again is the key to success. Really, it just boils down to making new friends and building solid relationships. Make at least one new friend this "semester" -- that means before Christmas.

6. Join a club.

A new school year meant the opportunity to explore new activities, sports, and clubs. Invest in yourself -- join a professional organization and attend the monthly meetings. You will be able to express your passions while meeting new colleagues who share them and having fun.

7. Learn something new.

Back to school is a time for learning. What would you like to learn in the next year? Make time for a class at the local community college or for self-study at the library. New sessions will be starting soon. Sign up now.

8. Grade yourself.

In school you always knew where you stood. Your teachers graded your assignments and provided overall grades on report cards. How will you know where you stand? Build in objective ways to evaluate how you are doing and then track your results. Keep in mind that as in school, your results will be related to your effort, so put forth your best effort so you get the A you deserve!

9. Reward yourself.

Remember the local restaurant in town that would give away a free ice cream for each A earned? Or, perhaps your parents or grandparents used financial incentives to reward good grades. Don't forget to reward yourself when you achieve your newly set goals -- or even milestones within them!

10. Meet your teacher.

In school, we always had teachers to help us with our assignments and ensure we were on track. Enlist the support of your manager, your spouse, a mentor, a friend or a coach to help you achieve your goals. They can help you maintain focus and accountability and help you achieve your goals more quickly. If you apply these Back to School Principles to your career or job search this fall, you will be sure to once again experience the excitement and anticipation that go along with them. Good Luck!

Copyright 2002-2003 Coachville, LLC

As I was wrapping up summer activities and the kids were cleaning
their rooms to get ready for the first day of school, I focused on #3 -- clean your desk. Actually, I expanded it to -- clean your office. I got rid of 2 piles on the floor that I saw every day when I entered my office. There were some papers from one year ago that kept getting moved to the bottom of the pile. What a relief to have clean floor space!

This week I commit to signing up for a course. What about you?

Find out how you can be more successful in our 45 minute free coaching session.

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