As we head into the new year, many people are hit with the dreaded “Blue Monday” feeling, which is often known as the most depressing day of the year. After the whirlwind of Christmas, a lot of us are hit with post-festive blues, the weather seems to be gloomy and motivation towards our New Year's resolutions slowly fade away. The return of routines and heading back to work can also highlight some feelings of reflection. Often, we take a step back to think about whether we are going down the correct career path if other roles out there may be more suited or what we can do to overcome these blue feelings within our current role.
We all want to become the most productive version of ourselves, but how do we start? Luckily for you, we have curated 5 starting points to help you get and stay on track in 2024.
1- Planning out your 2024
Setting clear goals around how you want the year to end can be a good starting point! Visualise the end goal both in your professional and personal life and work backwards to plan out each action step you need to take to get there. Creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) targets throughout the year can help keep accountability for what you are doing and have a direction of where you want to go. By setting SMART targets you will become more organised and avoid losing track – It’s important to know where you are along the way. This can shake the feeling of uncertainty as your goals have a clear path rather than just being a passing thought, you can see how you can do something in a certain time, easing any pressure.
2- Tracking your wins
Following on from creating personal and professional targets for the year, using a tool like Microsoft One Note is a perfect way to keep on top of small wins throughout the year. This tip is useful for people who are starting a new career journey or those who are aiming to develop their current career this year. By noting down any small achievements made in the year and what it was that allowed you to get there you should be able to recognise what strategies are working for you and reflect on this to develop further. This small trick increases motivation and the sense of achievement alongside being a great insight into your year. You can also use this to reflect on if anyone queries what you have achieved and how you did it, you will be able to show what you have done and how you got there.
3- Listing your skills
Another way you can have a fresh start to the year and debunk Blue Monday is by writing a list of any skills you have; this could be some you have picked up over the past in the workplace or any qualifications you have acquired. Writing down this information will allow you to highlight your strengths and identify any gaps where there is room for improvement. If you are looking to start a new career, seeing your skills will allow you to make a more informed decision on what you can sell yourself to an employer with or help you find a role you are fitted to by matching your skills to job descriptions or refining any searches on websites like LinkedIn.
4- Refresh your CV
Start the year with the ‘new year new you’ mentality. Now that you have listed the skills you have obtained throughout your career, look at your CV and see if these skills can be transferred to boost visibility for employers. Especially if you have been in the same position for a long period, your CV is something that often gets forgotten about. To stay organised you could update your CV quarterly so that you don’t forget to add any information and skills you have obtained. By keeping your CV up to date, you can be ready for any opportunity that presents itself to you.
5- Utilise social media
In previous years, we have seen an increase in the number of people professionally using social media and getting jobs on different social media platforms, 2024 could be the year that you transform your digital footprint. Using LinkedIn to engage with different people's posts can help you make new connections, open doors to new career paths and develop your networking skills. More and more people are also using social media as a search engine, so regular posting can help to increase your presence and develop your skills enabling you to discover new opportunities. You can also use social media to share your thoughts and ideas on any relevant topics to your profession, which is a great way to connect with new people and build relationships. Staying up to date with current trends and insights in your sector also gives you an advantage when developing your career or if you are starting fresh.
So, why not turn your Blue Monday green by using some of our top tips and changing how you start 2024! Use this as a new beginning and follow the easy steps to have a productive start to your year. Set clear SMART targets, with the help of One Note to track your wins and list your skills. Refresh your CV regularly so that you are ready for any opportunity that jumps out at you and use social media to your advantage to enhance your professional presence. These tips will not only relieve the feeling of Blue Monday but also push you to a more successful and productive new year.