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‘Blue Monday’ points to new year career changes

Lorna Madden

Director of talent engagement and workforce planning

Today is ‘Blue Monday’ – the day of the year when more people than ever look for a new job. Opencast director of talent and workforce planning Lorna Madden offers a perspective, and some advice for those looking to move.

Data tells us that Blue Monday – regarded by many as the most depressing day of the year when more people start looking for new jobs than on any other day – has played a big part in influencing people to look for a new job opportunity.

It’s an annual challenge for anyone involved in the recruitment space, as well as those looking for work, so I’m sharing some thoughts and ideas here that candidates could use as considerations for those contemplating a move this year.

Is the time right?

This is always a tricky one and requires some careful consideration. You should look at how engaged you are. Do you get up in the morning and think “brilliant, I’m off to work”? Are you getting the growth opportunities you need? You’d likely also want to look at things like wellbeing and achieving work-life balance, as these are very important factors in life and work alike. Look at what the prospective employer is doing in this space. At Opencast, we focus on our people’s wellbeing in a number of different ways, from providing a 'people experience partner' for our consultants to having mental health first aiders.

You should also consider your own career goals. Does your existing role satisfy them? Whatever you choose to do, you should make sure your decision is well-timed and thought through, as knee-jerk choices can lead to bad longer-term decisions.

Opencast's focus on people development is not only on where you are now, but also where you will be in future. We can offer you a future-focused approach to career progression, and will help you build skills for your career. We strongly value growth for all of our people – and always aim to give them the opportunity for personal growth and further develop their expertise.

Do your research

If you are looking for work, try follow organisations you’re interested in on social media and elsewhere. Glassdoor is a great place to start. What perception if any do you get from employees that work there? Can you see yourself working there as part of their culture?

Check out their values, and how aligned are they to your own. Reach out to people that you know who work there to get some inside knowledge. Research their leadership teams. Are they people that inspire you? All of this knowledge should help you make a good informed decision on suitable opportunities.

Person gestures with hand sitting at computer

Identify the gaps

What’s missing from your current role? Can your existing employer give you the exposure you need to support your development? Do you feel challenged? If not are you able to speak openly with your existing employer about your growth and desire to further contribute? Feeling empowered is so important, and using this type of reflection and mapping out the gaps can be really helpful. 

Person in leopard jumper with brown hair smiles in a group of people.

Take-aways

Do some serious self-reflection. Understand your goals and what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Use your network, and start to understand which employers you’re interested in. Dust down and update your CV, including your LinkedIn profile, and remind yourself of your achievements.

Above all, stay open-minded and don’t rush take the time to consider what’s important to you. Blue Monday may feel like a low point, but you’re far from alone. Remember though that this is your journey and it’s up to you to control the direction you head in.

Interested in working at Opencast?

We’re always looking for people who are inquisitive, creative, collaborative, fair, hard-working and transparent. Coming to work at Opencast will offer you the opportunity to do meaningful work and have a positive impact – and through our many partnerships with government, we can offer you the opportunity you want to deliver real impact at scale.

Sound good? Check out our vacancies.

 

Published: 15 January 2024

Authors

Lorna Madden

Director of talent engagement and workforce planning

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