As Most Depressing Day Looms, Canadians say Economy, Work and Health Blues
Cap a Year that was Mediocre at Best

Career expert shares practical tips on overcoming work blues for a happier new year

TORONTO, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - The third Monday in January holds the dubious title of most depressing day of the year. Said to be caused by looming bills to pay, broken New Year's resolutions and inclement weather; people are set to experience the biggest emotional hangover of the year on Blue Monday* - January 18, 2010. The third annual Everest College Workplace Blues Survey(xx) recently conducted by Harris/Decima on behalf of Ontario's leading career college indicates that 59 per cent of Canadians found 2009 to be mediocre at best with one quarter calling it either "a downer" or downright "depressing." In Ontario, figures were higher than the national numbers with 66 per cent indicating the year was mediocre at best and 30 per cent calling it a downer or depressing.

The biggest causes of the blues among employed Canadians are the economy (29 per cent) and work (26 per cent). Family matters (15 per cent) and threat of illness such as H1N1 (14 per cent) has 29 per cent of employed Canadians singin' the blues. Nearly three quarters of employed Canadians (74 per cent) said they suffer work-related blues at least occasionally - and that number has risen 11 per cent in just three years. Nearly one in five say they suffer frequently.

Employed Canadians say the most depressing thing about work is stress (26 per cent); juggling work and family (24 per cent) and pay (14 per cent). More than a third of Canadians (37 per cent) consider their work simply a job as opposed to a career that gives them opportunity for growth and advancement. Unfortunately 61 per cent say they are not optimistic about getting promoted, slightly higher than last year (57 per cent).

    
    Workplace blues: desensitized by the daily grind?
    -------------------------------------------------
    

Don Thibert is the director of academic affairs for Everest College and president of the Ontario Association of Career Colleges. The seasoned career expert has decades of experience and helps more than 35,000 Ontarians a year move into progressive new careers. He says now is the perfect time to evaluate your work situation and offers great tips for a happy new year.

"Most people are so desensitized by the daily grind that they don't even realize that they're unhappy, let alone what to do about it! After the tough year we've had, Canadians are too busy just trying to keep their heads above water - they don't have time to imagine the work situation that would make them really happy," says Thibert.

To determine how blue you really are Thibert suggests tracking your workplace blues for a month.

    
    Keep a diary, conquer the workplace blues
    -----------------------------------------
    

"Keep a daily record of what made you happy or unhappy each day and give yourself a score on a scale of one to 10, one being totally unbearable unhappiness and 10 being an absolute joy. By the end of the month you should be able to identify if you're happy - specifically what you like and don't like about your work," says Thibert. "If your average score at the end of the month is six or lower, it's time to start strategizing for happiness."

    
    Settling the Workplace Blues Score
    ----------------------------------

    7 - 10  Congratulations!
            - No workplace blues

    4 - 6   Moderate
            - Lack of enthusiasm
            - Less engaged
            - Live for the weekend attitude
            - Sunday dread

    1 - 4   Severe
            - Above symptoms PLUS
            - Daily wake-up dread
            - General negativity
            - Crying or feelings of rage at work
            - Faking illness, calling in sick
            - Hoping for illness

    Top criteria for career happiness
    ---------------------------------

    Thank goodness it's not all doom and gloom in the year ahead. Thibert says
these are the hallmarks of careers that make you happy:

    1.  Stability: Occupational areas that are in demand
    2.  Career Readiness (or Options): Opportunity for growth & upward
        mobility
    3.  Rewarding Outcomes: See the immediate positive impact of your work
    4.  Flexibility: Permits work life/balance
    5.  Self Worth: Feel like you're needed
    

"For some it's possible to find happiness in their current job," explains Thibert. "But there are still many with a failing grade in the happiness department. Canada's median income is below $26,000(xxx), which means many simply can't get ahead and may be burning out from having to work more than one job. Nearly a third of Canadians view their work as a "job" versus a "progressive career." In those situations, career training is a door opener to a more rewarding work life and greater overall satisfaction. At Everest College, every day we see how it can really change your life and we encourage people to meet with our counselors if they need some help to evaluate their career training options."

    
    Get a career, get happy
    -----------------------
    

Key to career happiness is identifying areas that are in-demand; offer flexibility; and have the potential for long-term growth. The career experts at Everest have identified healthcare as one of the strongest industries with opportunity due to the aging Canadian population; rising stress levels; the pressures of the sandwich generation; and the strain being placed on existing healthcare services.

"Healthcare is where it's at right now," says Thibert. "The need is there; the work is very gratifying; and often-times you can make your own schedule. Everest focuses on training for occupational areas with skill shortages and we have accelerated programs so you can get into a new career quickly. Some examples would include fitness trainer, massage therapist or personal support worker. Great careers for making you happy and that play a role in keeping Canadians healthy and happy too."

    
    Everest College: Changing lives through career training
    -------------------------------------------------------
    

Everest College, formerly CDI College, embodies the core values and commitment to excellence established over the last 40 years, and delivers high-quality programs taught by qualified professionals with industry-specific expertise and real-world experience. Everest College continues CDI College's track record of excellent student completion rates, job placement and program satisfaction.

Everest College, with 17 campuses across Ontario, prepares students to compete for career opportunities with specialized career training in high-growth fields.

    
    About Corinthian Colleges, Inc.
    -------------------------------
    

Corinthian Colleges, Inc., parent company of Everest College, is one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. Its mission is to prepare students for careers in demand or for advancement in their chosen field. It offers diploma programs and associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in a variety of high-demand occupational areas, including healthcare, transportation technology and maintenance, criminal justice, business, information technology and construction trades.

    
    About the Everest College Workplace Blues Survey
    ------------------------------------------------
    

The Workplace Blues survey was conducted from December 3 through December 6 2009 using teleVox, Harris/Decima's telephone omnibus. A total of 1,009 Canadians were surveyed, of which 599 are employed. Results for the full sample are considered accurate +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

For more information on Everest, please visit www.everest.ca.

    
    *   Dr. Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University researcher, identified the
          Most Depressing Day
    (xx)  Survey conducted in early December via telephone
    (xxx) According to Statistics Canada
    

SOURCE EVEREST COLLEGE

For further information: For further information: To schedule an interview with Don Thibert or for more information on Everest College's Workplace Blues Poll, please contact Timothy Chan at Strategic Objectives, Tel: (416) 366-7735 x 244, Email: tchan@strategicobjectives.com

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