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  • Katef

Working with the January Blues

'Oh, those January Blues – what is it about the Christmas break and the cold weather that makes us want to create a change?

Those of us that like to close a year and open a new one might set up goals for the year to create a change. Some people like to start the year with the intent to fix something in their lives and create opportunities. For others who don’t like to set goals or plan too far ahead I suspect its just about getting to pay day in January and this is the time we can really feel demotivated and stuck in our routines.

In January, there is an influx in demand for career coaching as the return to work to something clients are not happy in feels awful. Going to work in the dark and returning home in the dark without the Christmas sparkle of lights gets people thinking and desiring a change. Its also hard when the cold, snow and rain makes us feel housebound as is the case this month in the UK.

For many of my clients, I have been suggesting that the January Blues also creates an opportunity to create space and time for dreaming, research and learning.

Dreaming – when we get stuck in our careers its easy to look at job sites to find something better. I suggest that’s one of the worst things you can do at this time of year as it breeds frustration. A better first step would be to think and dream about what you can really see yourself doing in 10 years’ time and why? By looking at a long-term goal rather than one just for this year you might find a connection to stay motivated in your current role/career or find a reason to make a small change like upskill in something new or simply join a group activity that might offer your insights into that future dream’s reality.

Research – Why not make the most of the terrible TV in January and start researching your dream and looking at possibilities. Not on job sites but on advice sites and through your networks. Contact people and ask great questions. Do you really know that your dream isn’t feasible – wouldn’t it be better to test all your assumptions and find out?

Learning – Did you know that soft skills are becoming more valuable to hirers than just expertise. This week I learned that Google have researched their top employees and they found that:

“The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.” Source : The Washington Post

This was music to my ears as these are skills you can learn and then practice and they come from self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Why not use winter blues to learn more of how to ace these skills and put them into your future job applications?

For many its payday this week and February is around the corner. Why not start making time to dream, research and learn before another month of feeling stuck. If you find it hard to do this on your own that’s what I am here for! Katef

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