It’s the first full week of September and is always a month for transition and change. Autumn is here already; the branches on the trees are low, the leaves are already falling, and the blackberries have been foraged already.
This is the week of new beginnings and change. The week that children start in school for the first time or move from infants to juniors, from juniors to senior school, or young people move from the fifth form to sixth form or leave school altogether. They depart on a gap year, leave for university or start their apprenticeship or job.
For every young person, September means a real sea-change from one school year to the next, one milestone to another. The new school uniform, shoes, pencil case and haircut, indicate a fresh start.
It is a period where routines change, friendship groups alter, and travel itineraries and timetables transform – a new chapter or adventure.
The carefree summer has ended abruptly, and school busyness and activity start.
And each September, your children become more independent and rely on you less and less as the academic years roll by.
Children experience and embrace this change, and we sit on the sidelines, cross our fingers, and hope it all goes OK – feeling slightly out of control …
As a parent, grandparent or carer, you will need to help young people navigate these changes, and occasionally the course might need to be altered.
It doesn’t seem very happy this year, though, does it?
Something about the start of the academic year remains with us as adults – whether or not we have children. As an adult or parent, buying the new school uniform or pencil case might be replaced by moving from a summer wardrobe to an autumn/winter one and resolving to be more efficient. Still, it seems like a new start, and it is a great time to think about your long-term work/career plans.
But there’s something on the horizon this year that makes me feel quite different from how I usually feel at this time of year. What is it? It’s uncertainty.
There is so much uncertainty around, look at the Government, business and organisational change and the cost of living crisis.
So what can you do to tackle this uncertainty?
The first thing to do is get certain about what success looks like for you, what you would like to change, and what you wouldn’t like to change. It’s a good time to STOP, take some time to sit back and really consider where you would like to be and when you’d like to be there.
You can take our Be Inspired Stay Hired course online to help you understand where you want to be or you can follow our #50days50ways to get hired in work and a life you love.
You can look at improving some little things in your current job rather than jumping ship. More flexibility could be an option so you can practice self-care.
In terms of the cost of living crisis, we have a few tips here to help ease the rising costs.
- See if there is a car-sharing scheme to and from work; fuel prices have increased so much.
- See if there is more possibility of working from the office or if your company will pay for you to work in a coworking space. A coworking space will save you money on utilities and help with social contact, which will keep you connected and your well-being high. It might be a good time to negotiate your complete package.
- If you’re working flexibly, you might be able to up your hours or your days to make ends meet.
- Talk to your utilities service provider and see if you can get a smart meter which will help you use less energy
- Cycle or walk to work.
- Maybe you have quit for early retirement and realise retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You could contact your network at your old company and see if they’ll have you back and follow our 50days50ways to get hired in work and a life that you love.
- You can start a business as a side hustle, such as coaching, or freelance marketing
- Upskill and reskill, check out TechPixies (for upskilling in social media) or Code First Girls who have a partnership with GCHQ
- Rent a room in your house; you can earn £7500 tax-free.
- Go around your house and sell some things you don’t use anymore on eBay
There isn’t a job for life anymore, so you need to be at the helm of your career and control your own destiny.
September seems like a good time to take stock. The summer holidays often allow us to reflect and consider what and who we enjoy. We can connect with our whole selves as the days are longer, and often we are out of the home environment. Take some time this week to explore your musings and dreams of what you want work, your colleagues and life to look like and write down some goals for the next 50 days and then again for the next 50 days.
If you need some help getting back on track, then give me a call on 0333 123 0510.
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Sarah started her career in fmcg marketing working as a brand manager on Clover and as an interim manager on Clover (twice) and Quorn. She founded a start-up interim management company in Gloucestershire and that business changed the percentage of women and diverse talent in senior marketing and HR roles. Sarah specialises in attracting, onboarding, developing, engaging and retaining diverse talent into forward thinking businesses to improve productivity, performance and profit. Flexible working and wellbeing play a large part. Since covid-19 wreaked havoc on the job landscape, Sarah has a created an innovative programme to get senior experienced professionals back into work or fine-tune their current role so that it makes happy.