University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Action Strategies for Career Renewal

by Rosie Barry

There are many strategies to renew your career. Each person will be drawn to certain strategies at certain times. The important thing is to implement a variety of strategies at any given time.

Pursue Professional Development Activities

  • Identify your own sense of purpose or mission in your work, how do you (or how could you) make a contribution to the organization, to individual people, to the world, to yourself, through your work?
  • Become involved in the planning process for your organization.

Develop Relationships and Networks

  • Seek out others who do work similar to yours for conversation, networking, ideas, and collaborative ventures/joint projects.
  • Seek out the top people in your field. Attempt to determine what sets them apart from others in the profession. Think about ways to emulate them or to distinguish yourself in some other valuable way.

Enlarge Positives and Reframe Negatives

  • Do your work differently by varying the method or sequence, if possible. Even better, look for new ways to do familiar tasks.
  • Learn techniques for controlling your thoughts; utilize them to help you fully leave work at the end of the day and to reduce any tendency to give excessive through to negative events.

Pursue Non-Work Activities and Interests

  • Develop absorbing hobbies not related to your work.
  • Make specific plans for doing something fun, relaxing, or energizing each week.

Imagine New Ways to Use Your Skills

  • Dream about the future of your profession; create a vision of what could be. What needs to happen in your field? What possibilities exist because of advances in technology, legislative, or regulatory changes? What types of new people are entering the field now and in the next few years?
  • Inquire about other jobs occasionally, whether or not you actually wish to change jobs.

Maintain Your Physical Well Being

  • Experiment with different work schedules to find one that suits you best; consider alternatives such as flex time, four-day weeks, telecommuting, job sharing, and part-time work.
  • Take short breaks throughout the day to renew your physical and mental energy. Relax, walk, meditate, eat a healthful snack.

Continue to Build Your Skills and Knowledge

  • Identify any of your skills that need, or would benefit from, further development.
  • Find ways to specialize within your field. Better yet, develop a cluster of related specialties within your field.

Discover Your Personal Energizers

  • Explore and express more of your own personal style so that, as much as possible, every aspect of your work reflects your individuality.
  • Experiment with time management systems to find one that works well for you.