7 ways to make a fresh start at work

7 min read
Leeha Debnam

If you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling when it comes to your career or you suffer from Mondayitis (yes, it’s a thing) you’re not alone. 38% of Australian workers are unsatisfied with their current job. It’s little wonder that Aussie workers are searching for ways to make a fresh start at work.

The great news is that those pesky work blues are curable.

If you’re looking to reinvigorate your lacklustre work life, start a fresh new year or want to break free from the daily grind, this post is for you.

7 ways to make a fresh start at work

Here are seven ways to push the reset button on your career:

  1. Learn something new.
  2. Take on a temporary role.
  3. Volunteer.
  4. Find a mentor.
  5. Expand your network.
  6. Join an association or group.
  7. Start a side hustle.

Whether you’re celebrating a fresh new year or trying to recapture that new-job feeling, these ideas should help.

1. Learn something new

Fresh Start Woman Reading Outdoors
What have you always wanted to know? Learn about it!

Upskilling is a great way to meet your individual needs and boost your career goals. If you’re not planning on staying in your current job, or you're ready to nail that promotion, upskilling is definitely the way to go.

According to TrainSmart Australia, the first step to upskill is to find a training course that suits your needs and career goals.

Research what skills are in demand for your chosen career. People who are in the field will know.

Online courses offer flexibility and often allow you to study anywhere and at any time. There’s also a wide range of high-quality and professionally-recognised courses and qualifications out there.

Here are a few resources to get you started:

Don’t forget that many employers offer in-house training and upskilling opportunities, so be sure to explore these options as well.

2. Take on a temporary role

A temporary role to a different part in your organisation (or even externally) can boost your career and your confidence right when you need it. It can provide a fresh start and a window into a new world.

Temporary positions help you:

  • Develop new contacts
  • Learn new skills
  • Have experiences that your current job doesn’t offer

Temporary roles can also give you a higher pay rate or open the door to a desired new employer.

Chat to your existing employer about broadening your skill base through a temporary role in your organisation or your industry.

3. Volunteer

A fresh start doesn’t have to mean a full career change. Find a volunteer gig outside of work and give back to your community.

Not only can volunteering give you a sense of purpose, but it’s a great way to share your skills, learn new ones, meet a range of people and improve your confidence.

Australians spend a staggering 700 million hours volunteering each year.

Fresh Start Woman Feeding the Homeless

Unpaid work is a fabulous way to embrace your passions and dip your toe into interesting roles and potential careers.

It can also give you a fresh start by reinvigorating how you feel towards your current role. You can browse volunteer opportunities at sites like GoVolunteer, Volunteering Australia, and Volunteering Services Australia.

4. Find a mentor

If your career is feeling stagnant and you’re clueless as to what to do next, a mentor could be the guiding light you need on your road to a fresh start.

A mentor is a professional that you look up to and trust. You admire them for their career achievements, work ethic and wisdom, experience and expertise. They make a great sounding board to bounce off ideas with or help you decide which direction to take.

To help you choose the right mentor, Forbes recommends that you look for these four things in a mentor:

  • Compatibility
  • Contrast
  • Expertise
  • Trust

Having the guidance, encouragement and support of a mentor can help you feel empowered to make bold decisions about your career.

5. Expand your network

Networking could be the key to your fresh start. It’s come a long way from just walking around a room handing out as many business cards as you can.

Today you can grow your network face-to-face and online, making valuable connections with other professionals who want to see you succeed.

You can expand your network by:

  • Starting or updating your LinkedIn profile
  • Attending events
  • Joining Facebook groups
  • Joining professional associations
  • Volunteering
  • Contacting former co-workers or clients

Another good option is to reach out to people you’d like to engage with — explain why you’d like to meet and suggest a quick coffee. Most people will say yes.

The key to successful networking is remembering that it’s a two-way street. You may be needing help today, but tomorrow someone in your network may be asking for your help. Be ready to respond in kind.

6. Join an association or group

Professional associations are a great way to meet people, access professional development resources and tap into new opportunities. And they come in all shapes and sizes.

To explore the wide range of groups out there in a location near you, try using Meetup.

You can join industry-specific associations like the Design Institute of Australia for designers and creatives, or Fitness Australia for personal trainers.

There are also general groups like Toastmasters International that can introduce you to people of all backgrounds and help improve your public speaking skills.

7. Start a side hustle

Fresh Start Person Throwing a Pot
Take your after-hours entertainment and turn it into a side gig.

If you’ve got a business idea or you’re ready to turn that hobby into a money-making machine, starting a side hustle could be the fresh start you’ve been looking for.

Sure, it’s not easy launching a business, especially if you’ve got a day job. Still, it’s exciting to step outside your comfort zone and fun to do something that you love.

They key in deciding what type of side hustle is right for you is to ask these five questions:

  • Is it something you love to do?
  • Is it a skill you’re good at?
  • Does the business idea suit your lifestyle or the one you wish to have?
  • Can you cover the startup costs or raise the funds from elsewhere?
  • Is there a big enough market for your product or service to make your business profitable?

If starting a side hustle tickles your fancy but you’re not sure how to do it, here are nine small business ideas you can start at home.

Editor’s note: When it’s time to promote your venture, build a website with our 30-day risk-free trial. Comes with all you need to bring paying customers flocking to your shop or storefront.

Make a start on your fresh start

If this list has inspired you, why not make a start on your fresh start? On average, you will spend 90,000 hours at work over the course of your lifetime. That’s one-third of your life and a big reason why you need to be happy with your work life.

Do some research, explore the opportunities above and put yourself out there. Whether it’s learning a new skill, expanding your network or starting your own business, what have you got to lose?

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