As a consultant in the career industry I see many individuals head towards Christmas each year with a great deal of anxiety and stress. However it doesn’t have to be this way. Having Christmas off is a real blessing in disguise and I wish more people realised so.
There are few moments in anyone’s career where we get to have a complete break from our responsibilities. Think about the last time you took a holiday from work. As the time fast approaches for you to return, your mind starts thinking about all the things you will need to do. All of this background thinking robs us of our holiday time. Many top level professionals complain of 1000+ emails they have to return to, even after a short break. Our job is forever in the back of our mind somewhere.
However when we are between jobs and especially at Christmas time, we are truly free from those background concerns. Life steps in and gives us a gift. It forces us to put job hunting on hold. I remember a few years back when I was unemployed heading into Christmas. I had all of the usual stress and anxiety that comes with the territory. On top of that my mind was filled with self doubt. Thoughts like “will I ever get a job again”. Then Christmas came and recruiting ceased. I was told that things in Perth “don’t pick up till February”. “February” I thought, it was the second week of November and the thought of February seemed so far away.
One thing I have always tried to maintain within myself is a positive mindset. To focus on things that are in my control. The fact that recruitment dropped off around Christmas and the New Year was something I couldn’t control. So I accepted my fate and gave myself permission to be in the moment during the holiday season. It was the best decision I made. I was able to be in the moment all of that summer and truly enjoy myself.
During this time of freedom I was able to replenish my batteries and give myself some well deserved and overdue time out. The result at the end was even better than I could imagine. I decided to start my own business and work for myself. A decision I may not have come to if I spent the Christmas period being stressed and anxious.
So remember if you are unemployed this Christmas, it may be the best gift you get of all. You have the power to choose your thoughts and outlook on life – choose wisely.
Danielle Beck – Professional, Performance and Personal Coach