It’s been a funny few weeks, hasn’t it? The chaos and the madness that is the build up to Christmas - work often takes lesser priority to all the other stuff that is going on and rarely do we stop to think about how it is all going. Yet, directly following this we have the reflectiveness that seems to dominate the period between Christmas and New Year, our minds buzzing optimistically with what January will bring. Most people, I’m sure, can relate to these 2 distinct phases. Most people will have experienced them to a greater or lesser extent.
So what happens now that January is here? Well, this is where people start to differ in their approach. January is a great time for dreams and aspirations, to make plans and to move forwards, whether you want a career change, a new job or perhaps just a way of progressing within your current one. January is when most people formulate plans. But how many people actually take these plans to the next level?
We’ve heard all the statistics about the amount of people who take out gym memberships in January compared to the percentage who are still actively using the gym in March. And it’s the same principle with careers - lots of people start the new year with a career-related resolution but, 2 months later, how many have actually got stuck into these challenges and how many have actually just got stuck in their old rut?
The solution to all this can really be as simple as action-planning/writing a ‘to do’ list/setting yourself individual targets…whatever form it takes and whatever you want to call it. The fundamental mistake that people so often make with their challenges is that they get so overwhelmed with the greatness of the final goal that the forget to plan in any detail the steps they need to take in order to get there successfully. There is a huge amount of power in the simple process of writing these plans down. Don’t just keep them in your head. Similarly there is a huge amount of power in the process of ticking off these smaller steps once they have been accomplished. Seeing that you are working towards success, however small these steps are, is a real motivating factor.
So, don’t let your only New Year’s Resolution be to get a new job. Instead, have 10 smaller resolutions which may, for example, include getting your CV reviewed/attending a networking event/researching industry-specific recruitment agencies/completing a training course in xyz - whatever is relevant to your particular circumstances. And make the final one ‘Getting a New Job’. Give yourself realistic timescales for each one and reward yourself as you make progress.