January is notoriously the dullest month of the year. Days are shorter and colder, no one wants to go out as they attempt ‘Dry January’, no one wants to go out to eat as they attempt ‘Veganuary’ and motivation to go to the gym, disappears after exactly 2 weeks.
But my year started differently to how it has done previously. New year, new chapter, new start, literally. Getting into a new routine having not really taken a break from working and not knowing what the next step is for the last few years was really weird. I had nothing on the horizon and this was my opportunity to map out my new path; however I wanted to, and this really taught me alot:
1. Network and engage with people around you; people are so willing to help and support
I consider myself to be so lucky to be surrounded by such a great network of people who have given me an abundance of advice and connections over the past month, even people, who I have not yet met in person. The internet is a powerful tool and (when not falling into the deep dark whole of Instagram) a great place to access people who you wouldn’t necessarily think of or be able to in your day to day. Be bold, reach out, connect.
2. No matter how positive you feel you will occasionally go into panic mode, and that’s ok
The job search can be a draining process; some days are good and I can spend hours on an application and my mind will run away with me thinking about what it would be like to work for a specific company. Other days I scroll through LinkedIn in panic, not really knowing what I’m looking for. And that’s ok. If I reflect back on January it has been filled with way more highs than lows. Sure a few rejections, but have I got work in the pipeline? Yes. Am I exploring new ventures that I hadn’t considered before? Yes. Am I surrounded by a great network of friends, family and colleagues that support me? Yes. Moreover, we never take the time to really celebrate our successes, even the little wins, like winning a new client or being invited to speak at an event. The Millennial mindset is so fast paced that we’re always looking for the next thing, the next job, the next opportunity to make money alongside our 7 different side hustles. And I’m guilty of some of this to.
It’s ok to panic, as long as you put things into context, and you’ll quickly realise that things are good.
Take time. Take time to celebrate and digest your wins no matter how big or small, so you can digest, evaluate and be more focused on the next big thing.
3. Keep learning; it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do
Something that hit me whilst I was reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming is when she talks about studying for a final paper for a module she found particularly difficult; nothing made sense to her, though somehow she dug deep and produced the goods. This and a combination of a friend of mine having ambitions to level herself up by taking on a masters in Computer Science made me think about how can I level up? As we get older we get comfortable doing similar jobs with similar skills and I reflect on my experiences and it has been along time since I learnt something new, completely from scratch. I thought that this year that would be learning how to code, but before taking this on, I think one avenue that will be for me will be building a brand and building a business, and I can’t wait to take on all the challenges this will come with and absorb all the learning that comes along with it.
4. Engage in content that inspires you
As part of this transitional phase I’ve been out and about most days meeting old friends, colleagues, new contacts, and it’s been amazing and so refreshing, although I do miss being around a big group of people every day as that group really did inspire me to be the best I can be. I have also noticed that I’ve subconsciously spent more time in the deep dark hole that we call Instagram; but in order to counter both of these issues I’ve started to replace this with inspiring content; books, podcasts, documentaries, you name it. Becoming by Michelle Obama and Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love, really got me to refocus my energies. I love listening to Diary of a CEO in which Steven Bartlett, CEO of SocialChain documents his learnings and story being a young entrepreneur. Similarly, Power Hour gives you all the get up and go to better utilise one hour of your day, with reflections from some of the most well known people in the media industry. Lastly, the Disruptive Entrepreneur and Ways to Change the World brings you closer to the stories of some of the most well known business people and personalities in UK popular culture, all of which have shown me that if I have an idea of something that I want to do, then if they can, I can do it too. Embedding positive messaging and stories into your daily routine can do wonders for your mindset.
5. Start Now
I really enjoy writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and ambitions openly as it makes me more accountable to actually do the things I said I would do. In one of my previous posts I said I would do the following:
- A new job doing something I love
- Sharing my story and building my personal brand
- Do more work in the UK Diversity and Inclusion space
- Develop a side hustle in D&I
- Learn how to swim
I still haven’t taken any swimming lessons (soon come) but what I have done, which at one point seemed far out of my reach is developing a side hustle in D&I. I am in the process of developing something that I think is going to be very exciting and everything has been so far, so good. This all came down to someone believing in me and giving me the opportunity I needed to start doing something that I love. Like I’ve said previously, be good to people and the levels of support you’ll receive will be immense.
So far 2019 is treating me well, watch this space to see what February brings, and share with me what January taught you.