Blue Monday is the most depressing due to a number of factors, including debt built up over Christmas, bad weather and how many days it has been since the holidays.
It may be useful to know that Blue Monday was in fact created in 2005 by a British holiday company. The idea was derived not from the results of any in-depth research, but instead by using a calculation involving such factors as current weather conditions and debt levels. However, while it had no basis in science, the idea caught on, and now many of us have come to dread it.
As New Year’s resolutions slip and the struggle continues, here are some top tips on how to develop your skills, explore your interests at work and progress within your career or secure your dream job.
- Explore your interests — take a look at your existing interests and skills. Consider how you spend your free time and if you can see any patterns emerging. You might enjoy exercise and sport for example or have a real passion for literature and the arts. Are you a creative person or a practical thinker? Perhaps you love the outdoors or would thrive in a career involving communication and language? Look at what you enjoy and begin to research careers that will allow you to explore your interests at work.
- Think about your values —values are important and are what make us who we are. When considering a change of career, it’s important that you make sure your work won’t conflict with your personal values. If you’re an independent person a more solitary environment might suit you well, but if you enjoy keeping busy you’ll want to work with a lively team. If family is important to you, make sure you still get to spend time with them or if you’d value more freedom at work, consider choosing a career with greater flexibility.
- Consider the timings — while it’s important to spend time thinking about your career, we understand that some people might want to find a new role a little faster than others. If you’re eager for a change, consider how a new role could work as stepping stone to your ultimate goal or whether investing time in part time study might support your development. If you’re happy to play the long game, think about perhaps developing new skills while still in your current job.
- Ensure it suits your lifestyle — our careers are important but so is life outside of work. Many of us have families to take care of and we want to spend time with our friends as well. Think about what level of sacrifice you might be prepared to make to pursue your dream.
- Make the match! — once you’ve found your dream career make sure you’re ready to succeed in securing the role. You may need to consider gaining additional qualifications through further study, but this needn’t take over.
About the author
Clare Riding, is the Head of Careers and Employability Services at The Open University.