When 2016 came to close I was relieved; so many icons and childhood heroes gone, not to mention the economic, political and social waves of change rippling through the world. I had no idea what 2017 would bring, but I had high hopes.
However, it transpires that 2017 was a year of constant unease. A simmering discontent and uncertainty was present, no matter which way you looked. I spent much of the year with that sort of sicky icky feeling you get in your stomach when you are on constant high alert and know you should not relax.
Perhaps this was because in 2017, fact really did become stranger than fiction. Or was it that the lines between the two became so smudged and we no longer could trust where one ended and the other started? An incessant deluge of uncertainty seemed to dominate our news and social feeds. A feeling of disaster and helplessness seemed to permeate everything; from ecological tragedies, war mongering, fanaticism, political mayhem, social division, economic selfishness, ever widening cultural chasms and our obsession with self, reaching new heights.
Our insatiable thirst for content left me, and I am sure others, wondering whether I had become an unwitting victim of fake news and branded content storytelling that was hypnotic.
So I am starting a one person revolution to make 2018 a great year no matter what. In my search for optimism and the restoration of collaboration, I am taking my inspiration from that oh so 2017 mantra “storytelling “ and writing seven little stories that are common to us all no matter who we are.
1. Overcoming the Monster
Monsters are everywhere but I am no longer afraid. In 2018 let’s stop those who seek to threaten our rights, bully, humiliate or scare us. 2017 saw major careers come tumbling down…. like a house of cards. Let’s make the workplace and our wider society a monster free zone.
2. Rags to Riches.
The gender pay gap is no story. It is a harsh reality of birth. Women should not settle for less and 2018 will see me and I hope many others working hard to battle for this. Whilst I am at it; I am also going to fight the good fight for the old, the young and those less physically or mentally able. The world is diverse and the workplace should reflect this Let’s make diversity more than just a tick box on a form but a functioning reality where equal pay and rights are there regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, mobility and sexual orientation.
3. The Quest
As a recruiter my 2018 quest will be the search for talent for my clients and for my own team. Whilst 2017 has seen a fragility in the recruitment market as the UK prepares for our European divorce, the demand for talent is high and one all employers are facing. 2017 saw the UK hit a new 42 year low for unemployment figures and skills shortages were viewed as one of the biggest problems facing the HR and recruitment professionals. Radical and agile thinking will be required to solve these shortfalls. My quest will be to work with clients to unravel what will be key to overcoming the problems and searching for solutions. 2017 saw many jobseekers closing down the hatches or exiting the UK as everyone wrangled with the uncertainty of Brexit
4. Voyage & Return
The B word…..
The UK has ventured forth bravely shaking up the status quo, taking our first small steps, against all the odds and in the face of adversity. We have seen some doubts grow and uncertainty and challenges seem to lie at every step of this great journey we have embarked upon. Will we make it back? Who knows? It is probable that we will return to where we started, reflect on our experience and have the realisation that as Europeans it is better to have good relations with our neighbours than not. Let’s hope we can plan for the future as a community and remember that what forged European cooperation was the reaction to the horrors of World Wars fought to protect all of our rights.
When times are hard us Brits get funnier. We can’t help it but we love a bit of irony. Sarcasm and pathos are our life blood and we have always able to laugh at ourselves. I am going to laugh all the way through 2018. Because? It is just more fun.
After being lulled into a prolonged golden age of feel good factors and “isn’t my life great?” stories that are being pushed at us via social content, media, advertisers and the like, tragedy needs to be as much part of life as the upside is. Please stop sanitising your threads, feeds and online life. Bad stuff happens to all of us and it is part of life. So in 2018 I am bouncing back come what may. Stop curating your lives and go and live them.
Change, renewal and transformation. Bring it on. I am no longer under the dark hypnotic spell of 2017. I am a reborn, positive 2018’er.
And they all lived happily ever after.