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How to Claim Career Happiness in the New Year

It’s not too late to start making career resolutions.

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BY Jeff Barrett - 10 Jan 2019

claim career happiness

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Is 2019 the year you finally, without hesitation, jump into a position with a new employer or finally start your own business? Start planning today, because you're in luck, timing-wise. January and February are reportedly some of the best months to seek out employment opportunities because hiring managers regularly get their budgets approved, meaning a chance for you to snag solid, competitive compensation.

And there's never a wrong time to start your own business.

The beginning of the year is also a great time to make a clean professional start. Plus, everyone seems to have more energy after the New Year because they're looking forward rather than backward. And most people aren't taking vacation days yet, so approval processes don't get delayed.

Of course, all is not golden when it comes to shopping for a career or jumping into another company's culture. That's why every employee preparing to take a leap of faith should prepare for the experience.

Getting Ready for a New Year, New Job

Interestingly, even workers who are gung-ho about exploring new opportunities may find themselves enmeshed in a variety of emotions.

For instance, guilt can show up more strongly than one might expect. A worker who has always been seen as a loyalist may feel like he or she is betraying management and co-workers by moving on. And the same can be true if that person has developed strong ties with clients throughout the years but can't take those clients along for the ride.

Fear is another common emotion among job hunters--even after they've snagged a new gig. After all, a new job may not be any better than an old job. Consequently, it's always a risk to leave one company for another opportunity.

Still other, more positive, feelings will rise to the surface. Relief comes to mind, as does excitement. These energizing emotions will help temper more negative responses and drive you to move toward something better--even when it's not the easy thing to do.

3 Ways to Successfully Make Your Move

Motivated to make a career move at the beginning of next year? Use these strategies to maximize your happiness and minimize the emotional downsides through the transition.

1. Follow your--not anyone else's--bliss.

Too often, job seekers are guided by what other people think they should do when they look for roles in other companies. They think about what their friends would say, whether they're being competitive, how much they want to make, and a host of other typical considerations. Yet they don't always think about what will make them feel satisfied.

Before saying "yes" to any offer, even if it seems like a no-brainer, ask yourself if you'll actually love getting up and going to work for the organization. Are you leaning toward it for the right reasons? Or are you about to take the plunge out of a feeling of obligation?

2. Treat the breakup positively.

For many people, leaving a job can feel like a divorce. However, it doesn't have to have a negative lasting effect. You can stay friends with your former boss and co-workers by leaving graciously, finishing up projects in progress before you go and allowing plenty of time for your employer to backfill your role.

Tony Delmercado, chief operating officer at Hawke Media, a top digital marketing partner, suggests that no matter why you decide to make a break, "your separation doesn't have to be ugly or unproductive. In fact, a job can end so positively it might surprise you." Remain an asset to the team until the moment you leave the building so you don't burn any bridges. Even after that, you don't have to sacrifice your whole network. After a month or so has gone by, consider grabbing a cup of coffee with your old boss or initiate an I-miss-you happy hour with former colleagues.

3. Drop a new anchor.

You can expect the first weeks at a new place of employment to be filled with a bit of anxiety, especially if you're naturally introverted. Still, remain invested in your decision to move on. Spend more time making a place for yourself in your new world instead of reminiscing about what you left behind.

If you're not sure how to drop an anchor, try a few tricks like rearranging your workspace to fit your needs and seeking a connection with at least one colleague. Put that picture of your dog up on your desk, and invite a new teammate to grab lunch.

When you're looking for jobs for the right reasons, committed to finishing strong, and ready to make a new office home, you can keep your emotions in check through a challenging change. You never know how happy it might make you. And if you're still not happy. You'll know it's definitely time to start your own business.

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