Happy new year and welcome to 2021! A probable game of two halves as we contemplate some dark months ahead before we emerge blinking into the warmth of a more familiar world as the year progresses. That’s the hope anyway.
But Covid or no Covid, January has always been a rather dry month where our need to be terribly grown up and apply ourselves after an extended break doesn’t always match our motivation to do so. So, looking January squarely in its dull grey eyes, here are three things you can do to bring some energy and fluidity to your working day.
Reconnect with your cause/mission
What gets you out of bed in the morning and skipping to work? Granted, it’s likely to be a short skip at the moment but you know what we mean. What is it that your organisation or business does to make the world a better place and how can you get closer to it? A lot of our clients have reported feeling more removed from the raison d’etre of where they work. Perhaps it’s the remote working, perhaps it’s just working very long and hard but it is easy to become disconnected and can be hugely motivating to remember just why you do what you do. Perhaps you could make closer contact with your customers, service users or beneficiaries and discuss the impact of your work. Is there a place that benefits from your good work that you could visit virtually? Or maybe it’s just a case of getting together with your team and discussing what motivates you to do this job and hearing about people’s experiences of times when they worked more closely and felt closer to the mission.
Consider what you want to add to your CV by the end of 2021
This is a question we regularly pose to our clients because it is easy for the year to slip away. It is one thing to work hard but quite another to work hard and embrace the new and gain skills and experiences. Consider what projects you would like to put your hand up for and to get more involved. Have a think about a new area of expertise that would benefit you, your work and your organisation. Would you like to move in to management or expand your team leadership? If you feel you’re suitably experienced, toy with the idea of becoming a mentor or coach to less experienced colleagues. Or all of the above. These are great things to master and add to your CV so you can look back over the year and know you’ve made yourself more marketable to your current or next employer.
Widen your networks and then get those within them to challenge you more
When was the last time you had a really stimulating conversation with a colleague or contact? It’s great to work with people who know you well and think like you but it doesn’t necessarily challenge you. It’s the people who bring different perspectives and approaches who make us slightly uncomfortable sometimes – and when you experience that discomfort, stick with it because it is likely you are learning and growing from it. So, join some new groups with a special interest which you could gain from. They are likely to be virtual for now and there are plenty of them, you just have to look around. Sometimes you need look no further than your own organisation, just outside the teams and regular circles you mix with. And when you do find them, consider what they could do for you and you for them. It may be that the experience feeds back in to points one and two and through these newfound networks, you feel closer to the mission and gain something valuable to add to your CV. So, it’s a win all round.
January will be over before we know it so let’s make it a good one to set us up for the year ahead. Tricky at times – highly likely, satisfying – definitely, dry – never!