This week we were told that Monday was the ‘most depressing day of the year’ or ‘blue Monday’. Was it for you? I’ve been struck this year by just how many people I have had conversations with who were keen to get away from the ‘din’ of Christmas and back to normal life, meaning January is anything but ‘blue’.
So why might this be? For any followers of MBTI (the Myers Briggs Type Indicator), a psychometric profiling tool based on preference pairs, including those for Introversion or Extroversion, might provide us with some clues. For those with a preference for Introversion, whilst sociable people, they have a tendency to process things through ‘thinking things through’ and get their energy from this, rather than in talking things through with others. Again, whilst sociable they are also likely to require some ‘peace and quiet’. At a recent session I ran on MBTI, called ‘How to survive your family at Christmas’, I mentioned that when I host a Christmas party, I always provide a ‘quiet room’ for those needing a little space. Needless to say, my group with a preference for introversion thought this sounded heavenly.
Likewise, with the other four preference pairs which MBTI is based around, certain ways of processing can be at odds with the change of Christmas. For those who like a logical steps-based processes (‘judging’ in MBTI terms), then going back to the order of every day life may be a welcome break. And as January is traditionally a time for ‘thinking big’ and setting goals for the year ahead, those with preferences for Intuition, Thinking and Sensing will all have lots to get their teeth into.
So, what does this teach us when it comes to making career decisions?
Working with a group of students in Year 9 recently, I talked to them about the fantastic careers website www.i-could.com which amongst other things, has a quiz which tells you all about which animal you are (in case you’re wondering, I’m a Seahorse…it’s based on MBTI and a Seahorse profile is INFJ which, cunningly, is indeed my MBTI profile!). The thing I love about this quiz and all the information you get at the end is that it goes beyond ‘you like Maths, you should be an accountant’ but instead it focuses on the other things in life that matter. It talks about your strengths and weaknesses, what you might enjoy and where your blind spots might be, as well as suggesting very broad career areas (advice and HR for us Seahorses…good to know I’m in the right place then!).
When looking at career choices then, taking this holistic approach helps with career happiness and fulfilment. So, if you’re not feeling the love for being back at work, it may be time to start assessing your future career options to ensure these needs are met. If however, you’re happy where you are but January just isn’t your favourite, then here are 5 top tips if you are experiencing those January blues.
1) Fed up with New resolutions and all the pressure they bring? Allow yourself to follow your own heart – and if it right now that’s resting on the Sofa, then embrace that.
2) Or mix it up and go for a new activity, like a winter picnic or roasting marshmallows on your patio firepit (it’s fun, trust me!).
3) Use January to plan some exciting things throughout the year. Get those holidays and mini breaks booked in to look forward to.
4) As money is tight and livers are hurting at this time of year, embrace this quiet period and meditate your way back to health.
5) My favourite quote of all time is ‘creativity is intelligence having fun’. So put down the technology, save yourself the money of an expensive trip out and instead, make up a fun (free!) game with the kids.