That isn’t a typo. You either glanced at this with anticipation to what you will be thankful for when 2021 comes to a close with a glass half-full, or you read it and saw a glass half empty, with anxiety emerging within you. Randy Thomas, Director of Career Coaching at FLCC, kept repeating last year – “The Best is Yet to Come”. He repeated it so much that I and others decided to make the saying our focus for 2021. Already we have been notified of two companies with delayed returns to the office due to Coronavirus exposures. The good news is that despite the circumstances, they are looking ahead to a great year out of the gate, and an even better year once they are able to reunite at work. They are focused on what they can do to kick off the year despite the quarantine delay.
What will help you have the best year ever at work?
- Understand the expectations of your job and aim to exceed them. Working remotely or working in person, expectations are met through communication on what is to be done, when, and by whom. If you don’t know, you need to ask the questions to understand your baseline. From general office to executive leadership, and everyone in between, if you have a job, there is an expectation that accompanies it.
- Once you understand the expectations of your job, map out your path to meet and exceed those expectations. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you are expected to deliver a project within time, quality, and budget, make time to identify schedule gaps, potential product delays, and scope gap along with other potential stop gaps, such as others on your team who may not understand your expectations for them. Credit for the expectations assigned to you will not be lowered because of others under your lead not performing. Expectations are between you, your superiors, and the job you were hired to do.
- Look forward and keep a positive attitude, despite what is revealed in the moment, and despite what might happen tomorrow. There is a saying, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God, which is why we call it the present”. This means that the only thing you can unwrap in any given moment is what is right in front of you. The only thing you can control is your present circumstances, including your reaction to how others are playing into you meeting the expectations of your job. Looking forward helps you to not get distracted.
In 2020, we saw many people lose their jobs because they lost sight of what was expected of them in unusual circumstances. We saw others fail due to grandiose expectations of their employers in the unforeseen conditions. Those who remained gainfully employed or gained new employment were willing to align expectations accordingly and staying focused on their current options with optimism for the future.
In horse racing, blinkers with a peephole cut in the back of the cup are known as ‘visors’. Many racehorse trainers believe blinkers keep horses focused on what is in front, encouraging them to pay attention to the race rather than to distractions, such as crowds. It is easy to be distracted by the circumstances around us and lose focus on what is in front of us. We might not be able to wear a visor to keep us looking forward, but we can train ourselves to gaze ahead.
A day at the office, a day at the jobsite, a day at the racetrack. It doesn’t matter which one. Remember the past, look forward to the future for the best things are yet to come!