Photo by The Green Party

Regardless of whether you have kids, my sense is that as August turns into September, we all get that “back to school” feeling. We buckle down and get a little more serious about our work after weeks of being pulled outside by summer…. be it long lunches, long weekends or long breaks. And there’s a twinge of sadness about saying goodbye to this universal “play” season.

For kids going back to school, the “goodbye” is balanced out a little. Even those who would hate to admit it know that there’s an excitement. It’s about seeing old friends, gaining status as you move to the next grade, the sports teams, the school plays, and hey, maybe even learning something cool in class. It’s familiar…..but different.

Let’s challenge ourselves as professionals to add some of back-to-school spark to our “back to the grindstone” perspective. Don’t repeat the grade! We don’t wait for kids to get 100% in one grade to move to the next one, and you don’t need to have had a perfect year at work to advance.

In other words, we owe it to ourselves to intentionally do something diffrent and interesting this season. Don’t wait until you’re sick of repeating the same grade over and over.

What one thing can you point to and say, “That’s somewhat intimidating, but tackling it would feel so great!” Is it asking for something you want? Being bold about sharing your vision? Raising the bar with sales goals? Upgrading your skills? Redefining your role? Your career?

This is not like a guilt-driven New Year’s resolution. Rather, this is about building off of another solid year of experience under your belt. You’ve earned a promotion to the next grade.  So what will you sign up to learn and experience this school year?