Getting time off over the festive period is absolutely wonderful. It’s a time of food and family, a time of chunky knit jumpers and slippers, and a surprising time for reflection as a badass career woman. Sometimes these reflections can be the positives of the year; what goals have I achieved at work? What skills have I gained? Where do I see my next steps? It quickly becomes an interview with my conscience. However, sometimes it can also be a reflection of what needs to change, the massive kick up the arse that might make me reassess what I need from my work life.
This time last year, I was starting to hate my job. I had, at this point, made the decision that I could not be there any longer. It was starting to affect my mental health and a negative culture had started to form within the team stemming from one individual’s behaviour. I couldn’t see any options to be able to remain working for the company without this person still being present, but I also couldn’t see how I would have the time to job search and go through the rigorous application processes that employers demand nowadays. I was stuck in a deep despair. A Scrooge-like state.
Even though I was looking forward to the (much needed) few days off for Christmas, knowing that I could switch my work brain off, I was also aware of the dread that would be waiting for me after the holidays were over.
This is the point where I literally became Scrooge. It happened to be Christmas Eve and, naturally, I was laying on my bed, watching Netflix, doing sweet FA. I had supressed all work-related thoughts and sent them packing off to Memory Lane. I turned to nostalgia as therapy, and sat Facebook stalking old school friends to see what they were up to now. As I scrolled through various people's profiles, I was growing jealous of their amazing jobs that they were becoming accomplished in. Jobs I didn’t even know existed.
My fingers, by autopilot, suddenly knew what to do, and I found myself on LinkedIn researching those jobs. Within a few clicks, before me were new opportunities. It was too good to be true. Had the Ghost of Jobs Past graced me with their presence and granted me the gift of motivation? I still had a week to apply for many of these jobs, so away I went, on Christmas Eve, applying for jobs. Yes, there were probably better things I could’ve been doing other than waiting for an acceptable time to start drinking, but the thought of potentially having a new job in the New Year sent my heart a flutter. The career woman in me was ready and raring to go.
Although I didn't receive interviews for everything that I'd applied for, my moment of badass career inspiration paid off. I went to an interview, and lo-and-behold, here I am, 11 months later in the job role that I wanted. And trust me, it felt so satisfying to both hand in my notice and know that I was progressing on a career path that gave me joy.
Take advantage of the time off over Christmas in whatever way makes you happy, maybe to even do your own career-life inventory. Take stake in a reflection exercise and evaluate if you are where you want to be. You never know, the Ghost of Jobs Past might be watching and waiting on standby...