Career

13 Ways To Nail Your First Month Back At Work

By Jessica Best
5th Jan 2021

girl wearing glasses and patterned jacket smiling

From endless days of knocking back your body weight’s worth of cheese and soaking up the sweet holiday oblivion of not knowing what damn day it is, to basking in the blue light of your work laptop for eight hours straight to sort that endless email swamp—that first week back to the grind always hits a little bit different, doesn’t it? 

However, it’s not all “move to trash” and renewing old passwords. There’s a lot you can do for yourself when you head back into work to make those first few weeks a little less of a shock and a little more seamless.

Here’s how to nail that first month back at work.

Define Your Career Goals For The Year

As much as we’d like to say reading Matthew McConaughey’s life bible known as Greenlights will help you out here, the concept behind “outlaw logic” and “finding your frequency” probably isn’t going to help you much in the way of defining your own career goals.

It’s hard but kick it the old fashioned way and throw some pen to paper and start jotting down what you want to get out of your career this year. It might be worth starting from the “bigger picture” and working backwards to measure out how you can contribute this year to your long-term goals. Whatever they are (finding your frequency or not), set them up somewhere so you can lay your eyes on them daily.

Organise A Meeting With Your Manager

If you’re a bit stuck on the goal-setting side of things or you really want to make yours actionable and set them in stone, set up a meeting with your manager. There’s nothing like soundchecking your vision for the year or getting some structure from the big guns to help you navigate your way through the ropes.

Get Real With Your Fitness

While hitting the gym six days a week might work for some people, truth be told, it’s not actually possible for a lot of us (and that’s okay). Take a moment to take into account where you’re living right now, where you’re working, how busy your schedule is likely to be, what you want to get out of your fitness (be it alone time, to switch your brain off, some cardio etc.) and work out a routine from here. Consider weaving in a simple coastal walk, some short daily meditations, a weekly yoga class or an infrared sauna session to make sure you’re tackling your fitness from all angles.

Tee Up A Work Lunch, Dinner Or Activity

Nothing brings the work fam back together quite like a team soiree. Get back into the swing of things by organising some sweet, sweet team bonding, be it around food, drinks or an activity requiring no coordination skills whatsoever (we know where that lands us). 

Whip Your Life Into Shape With The Best App Planners

There’s power in organisation and let this year of work finally be the year you stay on top of your game harder than an athlete training for the Olympics. We’re talking about downloading the best app planners the first week you open your laptop again, so you can whip your life into shape and hurtle into the new year like the productive, goal-setting god you are. Check this list featuring the best of the best digital planners here.

Bring Back The Razor-Sharp Focus

If turning your mind into a tool sharper than a two-edged sword is hot on your priority list then listen up people. There are some super great training apps out in the world that’ll fire up your neurons, get those cognitive wheels turning and you know, get those brain juices flowing after a few weeks of chugging down Aperol like a camel on water. Bring back the razor-sharp focus to help the way you work every day with these epic productivity apps. 

Plan A Workation

It’s never too early (or late) to plan your next adventure and if there was one good thing to come out of 2020, it was the “workation”. Yep, whether you’re still working remotely or not, planning a workation is a very good idea. Think relocating yourself for a week or two and amping your nine to five WIPs, deadlines, and creative brainstorming sessions, just with some new surroundings. We’ve searched high and low for some of the best places to shack up for a week with great phone connection, Wi-Fi, power, desk space and charging points right here.

Keep Inspired

We’re not going to lie, the first few weeks of work hit different in the New Year which is why it’s ever so important to keep your inspiration at an all-time high. Whether you need a morning pep talk to get your day started, a pick-me-up because you’re feeling a bit demotivated with your role or you’re just keen for some sound career advice, we have you well and truly covered with the most inspiring TED Talks here. Consider yourself more of a podcast person? Give these bad boys a listen. Bookworms, you’ll want to head here for all the career inspiration.

Stay On Top Of Your Savings

Forget last year, we’re all in entirely new budgeting territory and that means kicking savings goals like no one’s business in your first month back at work. As the saying goes, “failing to plan, is planning to fail” so if you haven’t already picked a lil’ savings hack to master these first few weeks, we’re here for you. Whether you're keen to hit the “all-cash diet” or try your hand at the 50/20/30 budget rule, there’s a money-saving hack for you (and more) right here.

Meal Plan For More Reasons Than One

It’s not just to detox out the countless tinnies you knocked back on New Year’s, it’s also to (say it with us)—”stay on top of your savings”. You’ve got it. And we don’t necessarily mean pack your feeds body-builder style either (save the tuna and rice for when you’re on the last leg of your payslip). Take some pointers from the best cookbooks of all time and even some simple food swaps to improve your footprint and you’ll be kickstarting your first month back at work and ticking off New Year's resolutions like an absolute boss.

Pimp Your Space And Up Your Stationery Game

If you ask us, there’s only one major thing that helps boost productivity tenfold—and that’s a strong workspace and stationery game. From groovy notepads and stickers to epic pen holders and mugs, check this list out for all the goods that will make coming back to work an absolute ease. If you really want to go the extra mile, these gadgets (think giant squishy burgers and mini DJ mixers) will help you beat that 3pm slog. Thank us later. 

And to really get your work vibe right, these soothing nature scapes will turn you back to the best moments of your holidays.

Get Ergonomic 

If you’re still working remotely, your desk set-up is a big one you’re going to want to nail in your first few weeks back at work. Sore shoulders, a stiff back and fatigued eyes will hit you hard, before you know it, if you don’t prioritise a posture-friendly layout (sink those 90-degree screen placements, people). To ease your limbs into the first few weeks back at work, check this full guide here.

Keep Ahead Of The Game And Double Your Annual Leave In 2021

And finally, nothing will ease you back into work quite like the satisfaction of doubling your AL this year (we know where your head is at). This complete guide will give you all the major time-frames which offer up a number of public holidays. If you do it right, you could score a mammoth 48 days off, no questions asked.

Want to up your skills this year? Check out these online photography courses.

Image credit: Dann

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