Why This Week Is The Worst (And Exactly What To Do About It)
Did you wake up with a Career Hangover on January 3rd?
Full of carbs and an extra glass of *something* – you blearily open your eyes to another new year of UGH, this same job.
Sure, you made a resolution to get a new job this year, but in the cold light of day you are already faltering.
The holiday fun is over, and Memorial Day and the summer holidays feel like they are eons away.
In the meantime you are left wondering – what are you going to do NOW?
This is why the first week of January is the WORST.
You can’t hide behind the the holidays anymore, but you have no idea how to actually get what you want this year (a job that actually makes you feel good in the morning).
We are here to help!
So pour yourself a bracing cup of coffee (or hair of the dog, we aren’t particular), and get ready to make some career magic!
Step 1: Give yourself a break and get out your calendar
Look, you’ve most likely taken some time off, potentially traveled or hosted some family, and you are tired. Maybe it was crazy Aunt Sally’s constant chatter, or your Mother-in-law’s terrible mattress, but give yourself a break for not having everything ready to go this week (even though you desperately want out).
Focus on getting through today and tomorrow, and as you take a deep breath and hydrate and prepare to tackle the regular work-week, first grab your calendar.
It’s time to plan for the plan!
Look- changing jobs and careers takes time. It also takes energy, and so you need to make sure you have both available as you tackle this task so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
So the smallest possible step to get started (I’m a fan of small steps) is to set aside some time to think about your career when it doesn’t feel like your eyes are bleeding.
Open up your calendar and set aside an hour to think about your next steps. Pick a time that isn’t aspirational – instead make sure it’s something that you can actually do. Don’t shoehorn it into a bunch of other activities either – make sure you set aside a time that will give you some space and focus so you can bring the best version of yourself to this task (or at least one that feels human).
Step 2: Write down all the positives
Part of what keeps most of us stuck is that we focus on all the reasons NOT to do something.
We are afraid of change.
We worry about benefits.
We wonder about paying our mortgage or rent.
We focus on the potential for failure.
No wonder it’s hard to make progress!
If your frame of mind is: “This is hard and it doesn’t feel good” it’s hard to stay motivated, right?
So instead, think about your work and all the positives that are headed your way.
I know it’s hard to be definite, since you may not know exactly what’s next for you or your career, but take a stab at it anyway.
You might start with this: “I won’t hate my new boss” or “Maybe I’ll have a better desk near a window” and progress to this “It would be amazing to wake up and love my work.” or “I can’t wait to find a job that actually challenges me!”
So write down every. Single. Thing that is positive about where you are headed next. Small things like a better commute or working from home, to large things like making an impact on your job or getting to help change lives.
Seriously – there are no bad things here, so grab some more coffee and have at it!
When things get hard, pull out this list to keep you motivated. When you feel good, you take action!
Step 3: Drink some more water
Hey, you can’t make progress if you aren’t hydrated, right?
Step 4: Get a process together
Most of us fail because building a plan AND executing a plan at the same time is exhausting.
We get confused, lost, or just stalled out – and so progress immediately ends.
Don’t let that be you!
Instead of worrying about immediately making progress, in that hour you’ve already set aside (go you!) make sure to devote it to building your actual plan for finding a new job or a new career.
If you are a project-managery kind of person, then you might really enjoy throwing together a spreadsheet of your next steps. Just remember to keep each step small AND specific. So if you are job searching your plan of action could look something like this:
- Step 1: Update resume.
- Step 2: Reach out to 3 old colleagues to let them know I’m looking.
- Step 3: Schedule coffee with my boss to talk about other options at work.
- Step 4: Update LinkedIn headline and overview.
- Step 5: Update LinkedIn main profile and endorsements.
- Step 6: Make a list of helpful friends and family.
- Step 7: Have coffee with two people from that list.
You get the idea!
If you are thinking of changing careers completely (or want help with finding your passion), your order of operations could look like this:
- Step 1: Google books and coaching on passion. Choose three to look at closely. Pick one.
- Step 2: Set aside time to follow book or program – an hour a week in my calendar.
- Step 3: Do program exactly as outlined, one hour per week.
***By the way, here’s an outstanding free 5-day Passion Challenge! It’s everything you need to know to help find your passion all rolled up into your inbox for FREE. We start January 16th – so grab your spot here…CLICK.***
The point is that if you take a few minutes to outline a plan ahead of time, you’ve just dramatically increased your chances of success.
And don’t put it all on yourself to figure out! If finding your passion were easy (or if it was something you were taught in school), then you would have done it already right?
So give yourself a break and get some help if you need it, which brings me to…
Step 5: Be real with yourself
Look, if you have a past history with not making the kind of career progress you want (and you’ve been going it alone or off the cuff making it up as you go), then be real with yourself and get some additional help and support.
Think through how you best learn new skills and ideas (finding your passion and job searching are both), and then find the kind of support that reflects how you best learn!
Be honest with yourself on what you need to succeed.
If you learn from reading, find a great book! Amazon or google will help you out.
If you learn from personal interaction, hire a coach.
If you need extra accountability, make sure you join a program with a great community and follow through.
Yes, you are going to have to invest time and effort, and maybe even a little cash.
But like with anything in life, what you get out of something is in direct proportion to what you put into it, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves a little bit if you want to make progress.
This doesn’t have to be the worst week of the year anymore. Just make a commitment to yourself to follow through on these five steps.
Progress will follow! (You can totally do this!)
Need more help?
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It’s five days of helpful advice and simple actions delivered straight to your inbox. All you have to do is open your email, read it, and do what it says and you’ll be on the road to progress. No bad, right? And the best news is that it is free! So grab your spot right here!