Thursday, 6 February 2014

How to beat the Back to Work Blues - Part 1

Are the Christmas/New Year holidays now a distance memory? Chances are you’ll now be back at work and trying to get into the pre-Christmas routine of early-to-bed, early-to-rise, getting the kids ready for daycare/school, etc, etc…
If you’ve just started back at work (lucky you!) or have been struggling to master the 9-5 routine over the last couple of weeks, read on for some great tips on how to beat the back to work blues…
1. Get motivated
This tip will really set you up for the year ahead – don’t be the ‘passenger’ in your life this year, be the driver! Clarius CEO, Kym Quick, advises the mantra for 2014 is to “get motivated, get a plan and get involved! It’s the beginning of the year and time for you to make a fresh impression on the boss. The best way to do that is to return to work motivated and rearing to go”. Having the right attitude is paramount for success this year – in your career or personal life.
Image from

2. Identify goals and plan for the year ahead
The next step is getting organised. Kym Quick says, “Meet the boss and get a plan. You want to spend your time doing what the company needs you to do so make sure you have a work and development plan for 2014”. The advantage of having a plan is that is that it “gives you tangible goals on which to develop skills and capabilities. It’s also a great way to get motivated because it focuses your efforts and time investment…it’s not just about measuring and monitoring your performance, it’s about getting on the front foot, showing initiative, support and involvement with your colleagues”. Quick also suggests that we should “Set private goals too. Over time these will develop into public victories and keep you focused and motivated”.

3. Get a mentor
No matter where you are in your career, everyone can benefit from having a mentor. Young or old, there’s always something new you can learn from someone else. The Clarius Recruitment Group have identified that sadly, “only half of Australian professionals have a job description and KPI’s and even less (21 per cent) have a mentor to help iron out career cricks”. Having a mentor can offer another perspective, help open your eyes to new possibilities and take you career to the next level. Don’t underestimate what you could learn by becoming a mentor yourself. “Get a mentor, be a mentor. Everyone has something to learn so identify someone you admire and ask them to mentor you. And show leadership by being a mentor for someone coming up through the ranks behind you”, says Quick.

4. Be a problem solver – Focus on the solution, not the problem
Every workplace has a ‘negative Nancy’ – just don’t let it be you! Whilst it’s not always easy to remain positive at work, challenge yourself to quash those negative feelings this year. Rather than presenting your boss with a problem, try to identify a solution (or solutions!). Quick says, “Managers don’t want to deal with the same problems they had the previous year so if you can convince them you’re the person to lighten the load you’ll be in their good books from the get go. Once the goodwill seeds are planted, get serious about your efforts for 2014 by meeting with your boss to plan your contribution and development needs for the year.” However, it’s important that you “Help out, don’t suck up. Put your hand up and help out. Whether it’s a request by a colleague, boss or someone from another team. Be the source of advice and inspiration,” advises Quick.

5. Lean a new skill
This will keep you feeling fresh and challenged in your role, and may even open the door to a new opportunity, promotion or even a new job. Quick believes that learning a new skill can help you stand out from the crowd, “In the current challenging business environment, employers are looking for people who can multi-skill while still being specialists.”

6. Identify your priorities and focus on them by setting timelines
There will always be too much to do in our working and personal lives. The trick is picking your battles and identifying what’s really important to you. Quick says it’s important to “Apply critical thinking to the way you work. This will help you improve practices and even save the company money – what boss wouldn’t love that!” Quick also believes it’s just as important to set timelines. “Don’t procrastinate. Having a deadline helps you manage your time so you can take on more responsibilities or free up time to up skill.” The quicker you achieve one goal, the quicker you can move onto the next!

Thanks to our contributor, Kym Quick for her wise words and advice:
Kym Quick is the CEO of Clarius. Clarius’ Candle brand provides IT staff to both the private and government sectors in Adelaide, and recruits across more than 20 major occupation categories.
Kym Quick, CEO of Clarious Group

No comments:

Post a Comment