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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Don't Look Back! Letting Go of the Past

December is a good month to review the past year, assess and set goals, and... STOP! Don't look back! Just because all the television news shows look back every December 31st, doesn't mean it is a helpful practice. There comes a time to let go of the past and move forward. Being future-focused starts with admitting that while learning occurred in the past, dwelling on history is a heavy weight. Shouldn't you start lifting weights in the new year? ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Letting Go of an Old Job

Despite the value of a previous career, the inability to let go can delay movement into the next stage of career development. Signs that the individual has not let go include talking too much about the old job, comparing the replacement employee's decisions to what was done in the past, and feeling threatened by the changes that occurred after the exit. In order to let go, try focus to on current accomplishments, compliment the new replacement, and enjoy good feelings about the foundations that were built. Read more about letting go.

FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Make a Habit of Accomplishments

Taking the time daily to write down progress towards goals helps reduce stress, increase optimism, and potentially aid career advancement. Focusing on listing tasks that make one feel proud and happy, or demonstrate conquering a challenge with quantifiable actions, is better than listing busywork. As recording daily habits move to monthly, then quarterly and yearly, the accomplishments list can prevent then annual “look back” and wonder what happened. Read more.

JOB SEARCH: Going Back to an Old Job

“Boomerang employees” may be more acceptable due to the current talent crunch. However, there are circumstances where going back to a previous position is not wise. If quitting involved a toxic culture, an acrimonious exit, or being undervalued by the company, the return might not work out. Going back may also have a serious effect on self-esteem. Read more about returning to an old job in Economic Times.

TOP TEN: Ways to Let Go After Being Fired

A major life challenge that most people face in their careers is getting fired. It is possible to bounce back if you reframe the situation, reclaim a hobby, or work on getting physically fit. The opposite of those suggestions is taking a break and tapping into the emergency fund. Read all ten from Goodwill.


“You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep reading the last one” ~ Michael McMillian
“Not even the brightest future can make up for the fact that no roads lead back to what came before.” ~ Jo Nesbo


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