Beat Blue Monday: 3 steps for career motivation
Many people find themselves reflecting on their careers as we enter the new year, and the gloomy associations of Blue Monday on 20th January might have left some of you lacking in motivation. Whether you’re battling a slump in motivation having returned to work after Christmas or just trying to get over the hurdle of Blue Monday, here are three simple steps you can take to help you feel more motivated about your career.
Take a moment to pause and reflect on your recent achievements. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking over a year, a month or a week – acknowledging your achievements is vital to help you recognise your strengths and highlight your weaknesses. This in turn helps you make smarter decisions for the future.
Questions to ask yourself might be:
- Did you meet your personal objectives?
- Did you learn any new skills or gain new qualifications?
- Did you develop any relationships with internal or external stakeholders?
Hopefully acknowledging what you have achieved so far gives you renewed motivation to progress further throughout the year and beyond. Remember though to balance your achievements by also thinking about areas of growth, as this can also motivate you and give you greater focus.
After you’ve weighed up your achievements and ways in which you would like to grow, looking at your career plan is a good next step to take. Dust off those objectives you made a while ago and assess whether they are still relevant to your role and your interests. Do you need to perhaps be more proactive about achieving them? Or would you benefit from rewriting them completely?
If you do rewrite your objectives, make sure you do so with the support of your manager. If you’re on the same page about your career progression, this will hold you both accountable to make sure you achieve success. Having clear next steps really fuels your motivation and injects clarity around your career progression.
Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date is incredibly rewarding and might be the answer to lifting you out of the Blue Monday blues. Upskilling has never been more important than it is currently considering investment in automation across accounting and finance functions, so keeping your technical and soft skills up to date will help you make the best use of new technology entering the workplace.
There are a number of ways in which you can take ownership of your learning. Ask your employer about any training options your organisation provides, but there’s no need to stop there – listen to career podcasts, attend industry events and tap into the wealth of free, online resources. Absorbing new knowledge and skills might make you think about your work differently and give you the spark of motivation you need.
If, after taking on board the above three steps, you’re still in need of a career change, it’s time to be honest with yourself about what you really want out of your job. Find a way to express to your manager that you’re not fulfilled by your role and see if they are able to suggest alternative options for you. It might be time to get involved with new projects or different teams to reignite your career and motivate you throughout 2020 and beyond.
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Karen Young, Director, Hays Accountancy & Finance
Karen is a Director and recruiting expert at Hays Accountancy & Finance. She provides strategic leadership to a team of 400 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across 100 UK offices. With 20 years of finance recruitment experience, Karen has a...