Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s the time we designate to reflect on everything we are grateful for. But it shouldn’t be the only time of the year we recognize the good in our lives.
We should remind ourselves regularly of the things we are grateful for, especially in our professional lives. Recognizing the joy and benefits of our chosen work can help carry us through trying days that can make us question everything.
Seeing the positive in things can be hard to do, even for the most upbeat of us. Here are six ways to help sustain your professional gratitude and positive thinking past Thanksgiving and into the new year.
1. Save the positive feedback and emails you receive and refer back as needed.
It’s nice to remember the compliments you get from pleased clients and colleagues. These words can be easy to forget when you are going through frustrating times in your work. Take a look at some of the rave reviews you’ve gotten when you need to improve your outlook.
2. Build a network of colleagues to turn to for advice when you aren’t feeling grateful.
Your ATISDA network can help keep you motivated and upbeat during low times. And your network doesn’t have to be in person. With the internet, our professional networks can now span continents.
3. Volunteer to make more connections to inspire positive thinking.
Get involved in ATISDA and the American Translators Association (ATA) to connect with other professionals who have gone through the same highs and lows that you have. These colleagues can help make a sometimes isolating profession like translating more social and they can help motivate you to accomplish more.
How can you help? You can offer to organize a dinner for the ATA conference or help organize an event for ATISDA. Maybe you would like to contribute an article to this very blog. Volunteer organizations appreciate when people want to get involved. They especially like when you offer to take on tasks that others may not think to offer to do.
4. Keep a log of professional successes.
Record your successes, however you define them. You can add entries to document your wins as they happen or compile them at the end of the year. Your log could include events such as landing a new client or taking a new course to build a skill or reaching a new level of income. This makes for inspiring reading.
5. Compliment the work of others to spread positivity and refer trusted colleagues when possible.
People love hearing that they are doing a good job. And sometimes we get so used to competent people handling everything effortlessly that we can take it for granted. If you have a business partner or colleague that routinely impresses you, let them know. And if someone is deserving of the business of others, spread the word about how great they are. Compliments and referrals are the best free professional gifts you can give to share your gratitude.
6. See the positive in the negative.
It’s easy to take the negative perspective, so work on being annoyingly positive. Is there little freelance work lately? Hey, that gives you a chance to update your website with the devotion it deserves. Or maybe it’s time for a little break, since you’ve earned it. Is it ridiculously busy and hard to keep up? Focus on how great that income will be. Is there a difficult project manager you regularly work with? At least you are hopefully getting good at anticipating their behavior.
If that’s hard to do, try to think how a fictional character you invent, like Penelope Positivity, might react. She’s the opposite of the infamous Debbie Downer who focuses on the negative.
What are some other ways you keep up your positivity throughout the year? Let us know in the comments how you stay thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving from ATISDA!