Over the past few weeks, clients and candidates a like have asked “Is business slowing down for you guys coming into Christmas?” Ha, I wish!
I learnt my lesson a few years ago when I took a month off over Christmas; my clients would be away, the last thing candidates are thinking about is work, and if I did get any urgent requests I could always login remotely whilst trying to avoid a year’s worth of admin. How wrong I was! I returned to my team and Managing Director tearing their hair out due to the amount of work coming in, and more so, candidates reaching out to have a catch up; this year is no different.
It seems that many of our clients are still keen to go on their breaks and come back in the New Year with a list of top strategy talent that they can draw from to help drive their New Year strategies. Greenfield strategy teams are being constructed and left-field strategy roles are being shaped and moulded. So to put it bluntly, we are flat out and will be until COB, December 24, at which point we can then exhale, take a deep breath, and breathe in some Christmas spirit (not to mention some other well deserved spirits…).
Then comes January 2nd, of course nothing happens then! Strategy folk will surely be sunning themselves and drinking margaritas, right? Well no! It seems the festive cheer, some time to reflect on life and what it means and spending time with family is the catalyst for the onset of calls and emails from consultants, both local and offshore, chasing a greater work/life balance. They have finally had time to think about what life means to them and what is important.
I recently discovered “The Wheel of Life” and would encourage any of you with some down-time over the next few weeks to take a look at this to ensure there is balance in your life in terms of where you spend your energy. Are you really living your life with purpose and by your values? When I say values I do not mean morals or ethics, I mean living your life and putting importance on the things you really value. Most people have 5-7 core values and it is important to say that these are not all work related. It is important to understand what your values are to know if you are living by them.
So in my first few weeks of the new year I am sure to be glowing from a coffee buzz and finding slots in the diary can become tricky. I would encourage any strategy consultant to take advantage of having some down time by having a coffee with me or my team, even to just discover what lies beyond consulting. It may not be the right time just yet, but at least you will have the whole picture.