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Three Things to Leave in 2022, and Three Things to Bring to the New Year

By Paige Kassalen

The year 2023 somehow still feels far off in the distance, but we are less than two weeks away. The start of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the past year, and decide what we want to adjust for the year to come.

Here are three things to leave in 2022, and three things to bring to the new year:

Leave: Pointing out problems, without offering solutions

It’s true that the first step to solving a problem is knowing it exists, but we need to focus on being problem solvers instead of problem identifiers to create the change we want to see.

There are an infinite number of problems that can be solved, which means there are an infinite number of opportunities for us to take. You might think there is a better way to present information, or you might see constant miscommunication between teams. When you see areas that can use improvement, propose a solution and implement it.

This will help you in your career, and give you satisfaction by seeing the power your actions can have.

Bring: Reminding ourselves that everyone is a person at the end of the day

It was the day after Thanksgiving weekend, and I was having trouble bouncing back into work mode. I finally started firing off messages and setting up meetings to prep for upcoming deadlines.

Then, I remembered that everyone is a person, just like me. They are more likely struggling to bounce back as well, instead of sitting by their computer wondering why I’m not messaging them.

We need to remember that our colleagues are people, just like us, and will most likely respond to things the way we would respond. No matter if it comes to general communication styles, the tone in meetings, or any other types of interactions, remembering that everyone is a person will help ensure positive relations at work.

Leave: Feeling like you’re not doing enough

Imposter syndrome isn’t going away, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it control us.

Could we all be doing more? Absolutely. We could all work 24-hour days, at a hyper fast pace, with no breaks. The question is “should we be doing this?” and that answer is definitively “no.”

In 2023, let’s stop beating ourselves up for not doing enough, and instead focus on what we’ve accomplished. Most likely, our colleagues believe we are doing enough, so let’s start believing them.

Bring: Lessons learned

A friend was once casually complaining about a few things she regretted not doing during a chapter of her career. So, I asked her if she gleaned any insights from that experience.

She said “no,” which surprised me, but I realized her response was driven by fear of classifying those regrets as mistakes, when instead she should have made them datapoints to guide future success.

Every single action we take each day should provide lessons to guide our futures. If we leave our lessons learned in the past, we can’t grow. A mistake is only a mistake if we don’t learn from it.

Leave: Letting constants in your life stress you out

There are certain things we face every day that stress us out. It might be morning traffic, working with certain teammates, or a routine job responsibilities.

We cannot always cut these things out of our lives, so we need to find ways to accept and embrace them instead of letting them negatively impact our day.

When we minimize the number of recurring stressors in our day, we free up more time to be creative at work and present with friends and family.

Bring: Enjoyment for what you’re doing

The past few years with the pandemic have taught us that there is no better time than now to start fully embracing life.

If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, find a way to change things. Just like I mentioned above, everyone is a person at the end of the day, and they want to have fun, too.

Find ways to make meetings more enjoyable. Give someone a compliment to make their day. Bring a level of energy that will empower others to bring the best version of themselves to their work.

The end of the year is a time for reflection. There are many things you might want to leave in 2022, and others you want to bring into the new year.

When you look at the list above, I hope you see themes around being empowered to drive change, giving others and yourself a break, carrying forward learnings, and having fun living life! We have control over so many things in our lives, so let’s make 2023 our year!

Paige Kassalen

Paige Kassalen loves to put her creativity to use by solving problems in emerging technical fields, and has been an IEEE member since 2012. After graduating with a degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech in 2015, Kassalen began her career with Covestro LLC. in 2015, and soon became the only American engineer working with Solar Impulse 2, the first solar-powered airplane to circumnavigate the globe. This role landed Kassalen a spot on the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list along with feature articles in Glamour, Fast Company and the Huffington Post. After Solar Impulse, Kassalen has helped Covestro and JPMorgan Chase develop and implement strategies to embrace a range of emerging technology trends from autonomous vehicles to machine learning. In 2020, Kassalen received a Master of Information Systems Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and now uses her problem-solving skills at an artificial intelligence startup, CrowdAI, where she leads the implementation of computer vision solutions for existing commercial customers.

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One Comment

  1. Inspirational thoughts, thank you Paige! No rocket science but still worthwhile to stop for a moment and think about. Living up to these very few principles moment after moment makes a considerable change throughout the course of 2023.

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