It has been branded the worst day of the entire year (I know, tough crowd, huh?!) but is Blue Monday really that bad?
Blue Monday was actually a gimmick created by a travel company in an attempt to convince people to book a holiday, and it worked! Blue Monday is actually a big day for retailers, and with the early dark nights, the grey cold weather, the passing of the jolly Christmas festivities and the tight finances can all contribute to feeling a bit blue at this time of year.
It is safe to say that we can all pretty much agree that Monday is not the most exciting day of a week, and it is always hard to get back into the swing of things at work after a nice relaxing weekend. But aren’t we being a little bit harsh on the third Monday of January? Can we really assume it to be the most depressing day of the year? Personally I do not think so, but as with everything, it is a matter of perspective, but one thing is for sure, the media channels love to bring it to our attention every year, however, it is almost always in a negative light.
“I believe that everyone has the ability to share their experiences; by doing so, you have the power to inspire the next generation of professionals”.
The above quote is one that I wrote back in April 2017 when I was leading a session for the CIPD Northamptonshire Branch member to member mentoring scheme, so it is quite personal to me, but is is one that I wholly believe in.
As HR professionals, we have a world of resources at our disposal; our network being one of the strongest assets that we have, this may not be unique to the HR profession, but it is certainly one that is powerful and has a solution to almost every challenge. This is particularly useful for mentoring, as the mentee may not even know some of the things that you do.
This was one of the many reasons why I decided to become a mentor in 2012 when I joined the CIPD Steps Ahead programme, since then I have been fortunate to act as one of their ambassadors in addition to mentoring job seekers. In 2017 I successfully supported 8 people into work; this was a range of people with different backgrounds some were returning to work after a period of absence, some were working parents looking for a career or returning to work, and others had just left university and were unsure what options were available to them. In addition to this, I co-founded the CIPD Northants branch mentoring scheme in 2016 which is beginning to grow in popularity.
The beauty of mentoring, is that you are supporting people using your existing skills and knowledge so it is not particularly difficult to do, all it takes is about an hour of your time every other week and you can make a big difference to someone’s life. It offers the opportunity to support others to encourage career development and support whilst unlocking their full potential.