2023 is the Year of the Rabbit

The Lunar New Year starts January 22nd, 2023 (Chinese New Year) and ends on February 9th, 2024. 2023 is the year of the Rabbit. The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture.  Years of the Rabbit include 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, and 1927.

People born in a year of the Rabbit are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious. Here’s how you can bring the best of the rabbit’s energy into your career.

Rabbits understand that survival is more likely when they’re part of a group. Rabbits in the wild are very social, and companionship is almost as important to them as food. This may be the year to expand your teamwork skills by deepening your connection to the people you work with. Think about how you can show appreciation for your team members, especially those who work in the background and whose contributions are often overlooked. The closers of the world get most of the credit, so offering public praise for the ones who plan, schedule, do the paperwork, or keep things moving in other ways will make your team stronger and earn you plenty of good will.

Rabbits are wired for detecting danger and much of their behavior is designed to avoid predators. They’re mostly silent, communicating very softly through grunts and purrs. If you have a tendency to avoid speaking up in meetings or in groups, you may be unintentionally helping management overlook your talent and good ideas. Make 2023 the year you speak up for what you believe in with confidence. Practice asserting yourself politely and firmly when you get interrupted. “I’d like to finish my thought.” “If you’ll hold that idea for a minute, I can finish the point I was making.” Don’t worry about losing your reputation for being soft and fluffy; being respected is more important than being liked.

Rabbits also avoid confrontation – in their case, for good reason. They don’t have much defense beyond running fast for cover. In the office, confrontation can be scary, but usually, no one gets eaten.  In fact, confrontation can be healthy; it can clear the air and can strengthen work relationships. Done well (no yelling or sarcasm), confrontation will help people understand other points of view and may increase respect for other team members.

When you need to confront a coworker, it may help to practice your opening gambit. Taking the lead in the discussion will make you appear confident and help keep you calm in the moment. “If you have a few minutes, I’d like to talk about the issue I brought up in the project meeting. I felt like you dismissed what I was saying in front of the group as trivial and irrelevant. I’m concerned that will make it harder for them to take me seriously when I bring up other issues in the future. Can we discuss this?”

Calm, assertive, and firm. Rabbits aren’t known for standing their ground, so you may get some pushback. But if you overcome your instinct to turn tail, so to speak, and run for cover, you can push through the discomfort to a place where you can discuss issues like the equals you are.

But don’t mistake all rabbits that run for cowards. Mahatmas Gandhi said, “A rabbit that runs away from the bull-terrier is not particularly non-violent.” He knew they were simply ensuring that they’d to live to fight another say.

Rabbits are known for their bursts of high energy (mostly to escape danger.) If you can master the art of the high-energy, productive sprint, you can break down big, complex projects into bite-sized pieces. Rather than multi-tasking, which dissipates your energy, focus intently on a single smaller task for a short period. When you’ve checked off that task, move on to the next. You’ll produce higher quality work and feel better about what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day.

In the Chinese zodiac, rabbits are considered to be quick, skillful, kind, patient, and very responsible. If this is your year, that’s not a bad list of qualities to be known by. Even if you’re not a rabbit by birth, adding some positive rabbit energy can be good for your career in 2023.

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