There’s hope in the air, not only because of the arrival of spring (finally) filled with the presence of brightly colored pansies, tulips and lilacs, mint green leaves on trees and hedges, and grass the color of limeade, it’s also that our economy seems to be in a period of resurgence. I think the biggest change is that hope and optimism have replaced fear. Happily, many clients are again actively engaged in making changes where they’re working right now, or are conducting job searches, or launching businesses.

From conversations with these clients I’ve observed that there are lessons you can learn to increase your odds for success.

Eight lessons

1. Do a good job where you are first of all but then don’t get so swallowed up by your work that you forget to lift your head up and network, both internally and externally. Many people realize after they start a job search that they know very few people outside of their company. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to know only the colleagues inside their own department. Find ways to grow both networks. There’s a whole world out there.

2. Appreciate what you already have. When new opportunities are scarce, or a job search is taking a long time, or it’s slow starting a business that’s the time to remember to be grateful you have a job. Work is a gift, regardless of how antsy you might feel. Don’t manifest a sour attitude; it only hurts you.

3. Be a great boss. There is no relationship at work more important than the one you have with your boss. It’s the major reason why people stay and also why they leave. Make sure you aren’t the cause of someone else’s misery.

4. Develop good work habits. Work when you’re at work. Shut your door if you need privacy or find an empty room. Because the workplace is full of interruptions, some mornings decide to knock out work at home or in a café and have the courage to come in “late.” Don’t be a slave to your electronic devices.

5. Notice where the juice is for you. What work do you love or like doing? What energizes you? Figure out how can you do more of that and less of what you don’t like.

6. Don’t grab the first job that comes along. Be brave and say no when red flags are waving like crazy and you know it’s wrong for you. You aren’t going to change a hornet’s nest by stepping into the middle of it. You’ve survived this long. You can wait longer until you find the right fit in a healthy, well-run company.

7. Be creative and generative. Come up with ideas for new products and/or services. Make things happen. Volunteer to take on something new. Do it even if you know you’re planning to leave. Do it so that you feel more alive and engaged in your work right now. Then you won’t sound like you’re on your deathbed when you interview.

8.  Learn to be resilient. The workplace can be full of disappointments, change and stress. The ability to bounce back is a great strength. Projects you love fall apart or are aborted, great bosses leave, coworkers are let go, you gain a new boss who is not thrilled with you, people don’t answer emails or phone calls, etc. It’s all part of today’s work world. It’s not pretty and I don’t like it but it’s the way it is in many companies. It’s not personal. Don’t let it rob you of your self-esteem or stop you in your tracks. Keep going and be sure you don’t treat people the way you hate to be treated.

Self-management is the key

If you manage yourself well you’ll be a great asset to the company you’re with already and that could lead to a change you didn’t expect. You might be surprised and end up wanting to stay. Or, you’ll be in great shape when the right next job shows up. I bet you’ll attract it. Or, you’ll be off to a strong start as an entrepreneur.

Whatever direction you choose, you’ll be happier, you’ll be more effective and you’ll generate positive change.

Keep thriving,


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