Routines are great. They can make good habits automatic, and make life feel doable — especially now!
But doing the same thing over and over again tends to lead to the same results. And sometimes that can lead to the feeling of being stuck in a rut.
As I am doing interviews about The New Corner Office, one frequent question I get is about how remote workers can think big about their careers. In the absence of copious face time (a stupid proxy for ambition in any case) how can work-from-home types land new opportunities and take their careers to the next level?
One idea: Start a speculative project. Often, these can generate a lot of movement in the universe, leading to new opportunities.
In my world (non fiction book writing) such projects happen all the time. People try a new habit each week, or send dozens of thank you notes, or try not to throw anything away for a year…and then write about it.
Not everyone is aiming for a book deal. And “stunt journalism” is probably past its peak. But many people would like a better network, new job leads, or to get more visibility within an organization.
There are plenty of speculative projects that might help here too. What happens if you do a double opt-in introduction every day for two months? What happens if you grab coffee (virtual or in-person) with a new person each Friday? What happens if you film yourself giving humorous answers to your company’s most frequently asked IT questions? What happens if you commit to meeting with four mentees weekly for a year?
I have no idea. But this much activity tends to lead to something. And sometimes that something can give your career quite a boost. And maybe lead to some new friendships too. It takes time, but probably not a tremendous amount of time. So it might be worth a shot.
In other news: Speaking of projects! My Best of Both Worlds co-host, Sarah Hart-Unger, just launched a new podcast called Best Laid Plans. This show covers all things planners and planning. I’m really looking forward to adding this to my listening rotation!
Photo: You never know what’s over the horizon…