‘Goblin mode’ was chosen by the public as the 2022 Oxford word of the year. Oxford defines goblin mode as ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.’

The phrase is a good description of how many of us felt about 2022 after a few years of uncertainty and lockdowns.

2023 didn’t started out the way many had hoped. The summer hasn’t been the best and this has led many of us to feel despondent. Staying in or getting into goblin mode isn’t a good idea for your career in 2023. It can lead to a slippery slope and may impact your career in a negative way.

When life and work become overwhelming, and you’re invited into goblin mode or quiet quitting, ask yourself what is really going on here. What changes do I need to make to get myself out of the negative mind set and back to a positive one?

Here are 3 tops tips to make sure goblin mode doesn’t take over your life in 2023.

  • Identify the triggers at work – there is a reason you have moved to goblin mode. When did the change happen? What was it that made you disengage at work? Was it a lot of little things or one thing that tipped you over the edge? Once you know what it is, then you can figure out what needs to change to fix the problem for you. Often a small change at work can make a big difference. But we don’t voice or ask for the change at work, so it doesn’t happen. Take steps to remedy the situation now.

  • Is it work or a wider life issue/s? Our work has an impact on our wider life and so too does our wider life have an impact on work. Have the stresses and strains of home life or your social life started to impact on work or made work hard to manage? Could it be that the work you have always done does now not fit your wider life circumstances. Reviewing this may be the secret to unlocking why.

  • Don’t jump into a new job straight away. Often when we are unhappy at work, we have a knee jerk reaction and quit. The problem is if you don’t’ really identify why you are dissatisfied at work you may end up in a new job with the same problems and have only achieved a lot of upheaval. Often a new job won’t help unless you know what needs to be different. Is it the boss, the work, the support or something else? Really make sure you know that a new job is better and it does not have the aspects you want to avoid.

Don’t be afraid to invest if you need to reach out to a career development professional who can help you unpack your thoughts, make sense of what you are feeling, and support you to make informed decisions on how to change things in a way that suits you. Your job and career have a bearing on your whole life, so the investment will be worth it.

After years of pandemic induced disappointment, and a summer of crappy weather, goblin mode may seem like it is here to stay. No one is perfect, but if you are feeling like you just can’t and don’t care at work every day, you need to work out why and do something about it before it become something that really impacts your life and career/job in a negative way. A few days of not performing is OK – a few weeks will probably start to be a problem.