joanna jacobs

Hello, I’m delighted to connect with you here in The Grocer, incorporating my curiosity for all things careers-related with my love for retail. I cut my teeth as a Saturday assistant before joining the Sainsbury’s graduate scheme in HR. Thirteen years later, after a hop into telco and a break to raise my daughter, I’ve discovered that careers, and life, are far from the linear path we are taught, and now offer one-to-one coaching and workshops to support others during times of transition.

I’m writing this as the Christmas trading results flood in, with the accompanying analysis. Christmas can be a make or break time, bringing immense pressure and requiring constant focus on output, measuring and quantifying.

In this new year, as we think about goals for 2017/18 and beyond, what if we were to set an intention of how we want to feel this year, rather than a quantifiable outcome?

When we are outcome-focused, for example aiming to be the top store in the region, we are driven by the pressure of achieving the target, and avoiding failure. Before you’ve had a chance to acknowledge the great Christmas you had, you are moving on to the next big target.

Consciously reframing our goals towards feeling means we become motivated by the way we work and how we feel when we work. This is hugely energising, enabling you to become more creative than ever, making links, forging partnerships and achieving more. This is a chance to utilise those right brain functions that don’t always get used when the pressure is on.

So create some space in your day, and think back to the past year - the highs and the lows, the critical incidents. What was happening, how and why? What patterns do you notice? Now think to the year ahead. Take the wisdom you gained from reviewing the past, and consider what is the feeling, or word, that presents itself? At the Instant Pause workshops I host, participants have come up with words such as ‘rejuvenate’, ‘ignite’, ‘freedom’, ‘courage’ and ‘simplicity’. My word for this year is ‘brave’.

Now gather a picture, or an object, that captures your word, and keep it visible where it will inspire the choices you make and the work that you do, and see the difference it brings. I’d love to know what you discover.