It’s a well known fact that most people lack motivation during the winter months. As the cold weather sets in many people begin to feel less motivated and more tired. But if you are job searching, writing a CV or trying to change careers, this can be really detrimental to your chances of finding a new position. So what can you do to boost motivation?
Around 6% of people in the UK are affected by SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) while 13% of people suffer from the ‘winter blues’. Life Coach Becki Houlston says that the weather is definitely a contributor to why some of us feel lethargic at this time of year: “A lack of daylight has a profound effect on our emotional health. When the sun shines everyone feels happier. The sunshine creates Vitamin D which also lifts our spirits. Also if you haven’t got specific goals or a life plan then in winter when we are surrounded by nature rotting and resting, it’s easy to stagnate.”
If you are out of work during the winter period and trying to apply for jobs then naturally you may find it more of a struggle to feel motivated. One of the key aspects of a successful winter job hunt is to have a routine, says Becki: “If you are unemployed you need to realise that getting a job is your full time job. You should create a working hours structure i.e. at 9.30am sit and explore opportunities until 1pm. Give yourself a job title that engages you and create lists at the end of each day for the next day. Having this routine will mean that you can still enjoy down time in the evenings and weekends. When you are not employed it’s easy to lose that Friday night achievement feeling. Also try not to feel discouraged if you are rejected for a job opening. Part of the job hunting process is to keep creating options. Think outside the box. Confidence and self-belief are key to getting employed.”
But with the job market being so competitive and employers receiving hundreds of CVs every week, if you are applying for jobs you may find your application being rejected more than once. This, coupled with a lack of motivation during the winter, could really affect your employment chances. Becki says one of the best ways to motivate yourself after a rejection is to ask for feedback: “Get some feedback from successful people, or people you trust in the business community. Ask them ‘what do I need to improve?’ Asking for help shows innovation and strength, it is not a sign of weakness. Today’s employers want staff that can adapt to change. It’s easy to think you have run out of options. Remind yourself there are trillions of options out there, you just have to find them. Look at it as a challenge too and a giant game of hide and seek, rather than a reflection of not being good enough.”
While some people may be unemployed and looking for work, there are plenty of people that want to change careers at this time of year. A recent survey suggested that 84% of people want to change their job as part of their New Year’s resolution. “If you want your dream job you have to make it a priority,” says Becki. “First you have to make a decision that you will look for your dream job. Then commit to it, then take action. It’s often helpful to set a timeline – when do you want that dream job? You have to decide, don’t let others decide for you. It isn’t going to come through the letter box.” And although finding a job at this time of year is difficult, all it takes is a little boost in motivation: “If you are job hunting over Christmas remember that you are the answer to someone else’s problem, they just haven’t found you yet. Think of what you can do to make it easier for employers to find you. Identify 10 companies you want to work for and approach them yourself and stay in contact. Call HR or MD’s yourself, send chocolates and get noticed in a positive way!”