I used to think that because I didn’t feel that I fit in at my workplace that there was something wrong with me. Late drinks after work were not my thing and the idea of the ‘All You Can Eat,’ Christmas buffet in a restaurant where the idea of Christmas decoration was a dusty piece of tinsel wasn’t my thing either. Prawn cocktail anyone? Amazing how client hospitality and in-house hospitality are two completely different things.
Women’s magazines are full of ways to change from office to night on the town wear. You know the drill, add heels and red lipstick and wear a camisole top instead of your tailored for women Saville row shirt. Seriously, wear my underwear as a top in December? Clearly these journalists must work freelance from somewhere sunnier than here.
Christmas in corporate can be hellish and it can make it all the clearer that 2016 needs to be the year where you hatch your escape plan. Here are some signs that it might be time to get a map and start digging your way out.
- You are using the office stack of mince pies and Christmas chocolate as an emotional crutch. When things get really stressful at work, you are tempted to eat ahead in your chocolate advent calendar.
- You are looking forward to the Christmas break because you are absolutely shattered, need to rest and recover from niggling health problems.
- You see Christmas as a time to fit in dentist, hair colour and doctor’s appointments as you don’t take time off for those when you need to as you are so needed at work.
- Happy Christmas seems like something only found on a John Lewis ad, as you know you will still be responding to work messages on your phone over the Christmas period.
- You were seriously considering a remote island beach holiday over Christmas, but cancelled it because the broadband reception was not great there.
- Your partner has to schedule any Christmas activities with you at least a month in advance.
- You are thinking of doing extra work over Christmas in an effort to ‘get ahead’ or to ‘catch up.’
- You feel disconnected from your children’s Christmas activities at school because as usual, work comes first.
- You have a beautiful Christmas Pinterest board but no idea where you have stored the decorations from last year.
- Christmas seems like a distraction rather than a celebration.
So what can you do if you have not yet found your way to work that you love this Christmas?
- Realise that this does not have to be forever. Just because you are there now does not mean that you will always be there.
- Take healthy snacks to work so you are not prey to the ‘Oh go on, it’s Christmas,’ gang.
- Go to events you really want to go to and say no to the others. If you absolutely must go to them then think of ways to improve the experience for you. Don’t feel you have to stay all night and book a taxi in advance.
- Write about what you would like your Christmas to feel like and see if you can put any part of those feelings into your days.
- Notice when others are excited about Christmas, especially if you have children in your life, your own or nieces / nephews.
- Take time to turn off technology when you can.
- Find Christmas music and films that you actually like.
- Don’t feel the pressure to have ‘the best Christmas ever,’ as often that just leads to feeling let down. Instead try to be present to what you see around you and look for what is beautiful in it, even if that is the smallest thing.
- Brainstorm ways you can make time for those you love over Christmas.
- Think about how you can make some time for you, then do.
Now I work for myself I do find that I can have a calmer Christmas, but I still find that I need to really think about what I want my Christmas to be like so I approach Christmas with intention. I still have to not make it a ‘big thing’ in my head or then it starts to feel like a hurdle rather than something to be enjoyed.
If you are spending this Christmas in a career that does not feel right to you and you would like work on changing your situation over the coming year email me at email@example.com and we can meet up for a one hour call so you can find out how coaching can help you to move from work that doesn’t light you up to your right work in the world.