How to overcome the ‘back to school’ blues

As summer comes to an end, many of us will begin to experience that looming ‘back to school’ feeling this September.

Returning to old routines can be a struggle, particularly if you’ve spent time off on holiday. It’s easy to mourn the end of a season of rest and relaxation that your well-deserved break offered.  

Luckily, I love my job, and relish the thought of returning to work with a fresh perspective following some time away. But, if you don’t share that sentiment, then now could be the perfect opportunity to go after a new challenge.

Holidays can often give us the breathing space we need to reflect on what’s important to us, where our preferences really lie and what we actually want from our working lives. Rather than returning with the ‘back to school’ blues, try to see the end of summer as a chance to come back and do something new.  Whether you decide to learn a new skill or to prove to your boss that you’re really worth that promotion or pay rise, or you decide to go for that new opportunity, now’s a good time to move up a gear or two.

Here are three things you can do to banish the ‘back to school’ blues:

 

  • Learn something new

 

If your summer break has left you feeling refreshed and re-energised, then why not put that energy to good use and challenge yourself by enrolling in a course and learning a new skill? Perhaps there’s something you’ve been wanting to learn for a while but have been putting off, or perhaps you would benefit from an additional qualification or training to bridge any gaps in your current skillset. Studying for a qualification and the challenges that brings can be the prefect motivational tool if you are experiencing a slump at work.

Find out what training opportunities are available to you in your current role. Alternatively, at reed.co.uk you can find thousands of courses ranging from Microsoft Excel to Health and Safety. The Financial Management and Business Accounting Diploma is one of our most popular courses because it provides people with a better understanding of how a business operates. A lot of people are surprised to discover that many of these courses are available for free.  

Learning a new skill is a brilliant way to enhance your credentials. There’s no better way to prove to employers that you’re passionate about a role than by demonstrating that you have the self-motivation and determination to improve your knowledge independently. This can also greatly improve your prospects of achieving a pay rise or a promotion.

 

  • Improve your current situation

 

If you feel like you are stuck in a rut at work, try to make some changes that will help you enjoy your work more. Speak to your manager. Is there any additional responsibility you could take on that would benefit your team and boost your morale along the way? There is often scope for you to do more with your role, and stretching yourself will motivate you and could put you on track for a promotion or pay rise.

Even if you’re feeling unhappy in your current role, make the most of your work community around you. Move out of your comfort zone and try something new. Hot desking around the office and networking internally can give you a new perspective of the company you’re currently working in. These steps may seem small, but they can make a big difference. Immediately this will improve your knowledge and understanding of your business and your market. Beyond, this will also open up opportunities for chance conversations and invitations to take place. These encounters could either help you in your current role, or they could be the kick-start you need to open a new door and pursue an advantageous internal move.

 

  • Make a change

 

If you really can’t face the thought of heading back to your job, that means it’s time to change tack and look for a new one.

Take a step back and consider your current role – which aspects do you enjoy? Which do you least enjoy? When have you felt the most excited about your work?  And where do you think you most need to improve? If you know what you want to do in the long term, look at job specifications for those particular roles and ask yourself, ‘What do I need to do now to get that experience on my CV?’ Then you can start to target roles or courses that will help you to develop and hone these necessary skills.

A warning. Post-holiday blues can cloud judgement. If you are contemplating whether your current role is the right fit, allow for a grace period to pass before you make any final decisions.  The last thing you want to do is make a rash decision and then regret it.

It’s also important to be honest with yourself – are you really unhappy at work or are other things happening in your life that are making you contemplate your situation? It may simply be that you need to take some time to adjust to your old routines, so take the time you need to ensure this isn’t just a transient phase.

In particular, you should evaluate whether your current job is contributing to your long-term career goals. If not, now may be the ideal time to search for a new position.

So if you’re experiencing the ‘back to school’ blues this September, make sure that you use them to your advantage. See the new season as the start of a new chapter.  Do something new. Now is a great time to change yourself and your situation. It’s always worth remembering that when we learn we grow. And when we change our job, we change our life.

Everyone should love Mondays.