Happy New Year - so what's got to change?

New Year

A brand new year and it’s naturally a time for reflection - time to think about what you can be doing differently in all aspects of your life. With work taking up a huge proportion of our waking hours (whether physically or emotionally) it is no surprise that so many resolutions made every year involve our careers.

And when we think of these particular resolutions, it is always the ‘big ones’ - changing careers, finding a new employer, returning to work after an absence. So where does that leave the rest of us - the ones who don’t want to make these major steps right now?

It is a total myth that New Year’s career resolutions need to be life changing. But even the small ones make a difference. Everyone can take advantage of the optimism that January brings. There are always things we can do to improve our working life, even if we are feeling pretty happy about it. Ask yourself - ‘on a scale of 1-10, where do I rate my career happiness right now?’ Unless you are one of the very lucky minority who has made the enviable ‘10’ then there is room for improvement. Ask yourself two more questions: “what is it that is stopping me from reaching a 10?” and “what can I do to make the ‘10’ more achievable?” After all, we need to be able to identify the barriers before we can break them down.

Think carefully about your working day and what you need to change. It could be anything from promising yourself the luxury of a full lunch break at least once a week, to smoothing over frosty relations with a tricky colleague. These things really do matter. They are the niggly little details that, if not dealt with, can build up to cause us big problems in the future. Perhaps you need to make a commitment to yourself to make more of an effort to speak up at team meetings, or maybe it’s time to talk to your line manager about ambitions for a particular training course.

So for those of you scoring a 7, 8 or even a 9 at present - those of you who are feeling pretty satisfied with how work is going - don’t let January pass you by. There are always things we could be doing differently to make our working lives as happy as they can possibly be.