Even though it's been many years since I experienced my first day back to school; the memory is still palpable. There was an incredible fizz in the air. Seeing friends for the first time since the summer break was a mixture of delicious excitement and brutal anxiety.
Would you still get along? Have they developed more than I have? Will they be cooler than me? Was their summer better than mine?
Of course none of this was ever expressed because I was committed to being ‘cool’, and so the inner torment was a personal torture. But one part of coming back to school was forever a pleasure. It was a chance for me to take stock of who I am and who I now wanted to be.
The summer holidays cleaned the slate and gave us all a chance to reinvent ourselves. It's one of the amazing designs of education. There is a cadence to school years which gives us a chance to reflect and regenerate, and then to reignite. Although we may not have been doing this consciously, throughout our years; it was certainly happening. And now we all have the same opportunity and our work lives.
Business has been disrupted like never before and we have been able to free ourselves from some of the traditional shackles of the way that we work. We now have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and consider how we present our talents to create the biggest impact. It's an opportunity not to be wasted. But, in order to do so, we need to be conscious of what we have learned and what it is we want to change.
If we just turn up to work and hope things will work out, we will be swept along on a wave of autopilot, busyness and over excitement. This will just get us back into old habits and routines and before we know it it'll be Christmas and we will be asking ourselves “what just happened?”.
This is our chance to reinvent ourselves.
One third of your days on this planet is spent at work, let's make them count.