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Why trying new things needs to be at the TOP of your career bucket list this summer

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Last year, when Judy’s eight year old son broke not one, but BOTH his arms at camp, she knew it was a summer for the books.

It happened while he was playing a “challenge game” at camp (remember camp?) Of course he healed well. Phew! Judy was proud of her son for taking a risk in the name of fun and coming out on the other side even more resilient.

Play a challenge game

This summer is THE most unusual summer many of us have had. Before we go any further, let’s be clear, in no way are we saying you should risk your health and safety to try something new!

But here’s the thing - when we challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, we learn about our limits and what we truly are capable of in life.

Trying new things can boost your career

In our business, Linda, has been embracing her role as team Evolve’s self-appointed CTO and learning how to use the latest software to edit videos. She’s also (kind of) becoming more comfortable with being recorded on video herself. Not her comfort zone.

At home, Judy planted a garden for the first time (her thumb is more brown than green!) and harvested kale last week for a homegrown salad. Full disclaimer - she often forgot to water it but was still proud of what she harvested. Not her comfort zone.

When you challenge your perception of what you’re good at in low stakes ways (hobbies, interests, volunteer roles) you “try on” different ways of being. It’s not about whether you succeed or not (we did four takes of the last video we made!) it’s about having a growth mindset.

Rather than believing your talents, abilities or gifts are fixed, a growth mindset let’s you live in the space of “not yet”. And having a growth mindset is good for your career!

We can develop and learn new things at any age or stage. Yes at midlife - even now!

Rather than:

“I’m not the kind of person who_____”. (fill in interest, skill, talent etc)

You become:

“I'm not the kind of person who ____ YET.” (interest, skill, talent)

Experiment left and write. Go outside your comfort zone!

Here are five easy ways to try new things:

1) Upskill.

This is a great opportunity to be ready for whatever comes next. Take time to identify what skills you need to round out your portfolio. Take an online course, listen to a new podcast, sign up for a webinar.

We’ve taken to listening to podcasts in the car or while exercising or gardening! Rather than feeling like a burden, make learning a new skill fun by fitting it into your schedule.

2) Commit to doing something once - anything!

Lots of people are bragging about their sourdough starter right now. Want to bake bread? Try it once! Want to really stretch yourself - try a Pilates YouTube video! Swim and get all your hair wet - just try it once! How about that zipline that your kids really want you to do too? Can you commit to trying it once?

This mindset will help you get into the groove of experimenting with new opportunities in your career. You don’t have to commit to your next professional role forever, either!

3) Teach what you love

What do you love to do? The thing that comes naturally to you? The skills that are easiest for us are those we discount the most. It’s counterintuitive but true.

You may think that just because you’re good at something, it’s either easy or everyone else can do it. That is simply not true! And others need you to share your special gifts.

So what will it be? Good at organizing? Cooking breakfast? Choosing gifts? Algebra? Whatever it is, the act of teaching what you’re good at to others builds confidence and competence.

4) Set a physical challenge

You’ve been working out when you can from home (or at planning to do it) but it’s starting to get old. The same old work out is not energizing you as much as it was before. Next up - try a new workout to mix it up!

When we challenge ourselves physically, it can help us feel stronger mentally. This is how success in one area of your life can fuel another. Tired of running the same loop? Ask your friends what workout video they’re loving now and make it a priority to try it. You can find the half hour in your schedule. If we can, we know you can too!

5) Show up for a cause.

What issues do you feel really strongly about now? Strategic volunteering opens fresh networks and allows us to flex new or underutilized skills. And that builds confidence!

Can you volunteer virtually? Research organizations whose mission is meaningful to you. Start by thinking about what problem you want to help solve. There are so many free resources now to learn and get involved! Now is the time to explore what you care about.

We’ll get it done together!

Want a community of like-minded women with whom you can try new things in a safe environment? You’ll be encouraged to push yourself through your fears and go beyond your comfort zone. Too good to be true?

We see it happen for women every day. We want this for you too!

Evolve members are making changes. They’re being bold! Women in their 40s, 50s and 60s making podcasts, pitching articles, getting called back to work after being furloughed and using their skills to consult for new projects.

How are they getting this all done? With each other. Don’t go at it alone.

Join us as an Evolve member today! Gain a lifetime community who will help you gain the professional YOU back! Whether you’re laid off, furloughed, returning to the workforce after a break or pivoting -- career change never felt so good.

Register for membership here:


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