What the Year of the Rabbit can mean for your work and money

It’s Chinese New Year, and according to Asian folklore, the coming Year of the Rabbit is a good time to slow down, reflect, and try to strike a balance around work, money, and life.

For Lunar New Year watchers across East Asia and Asian Americans, the zodiac rabbit signifies hope, resilience, and a sense of cautious optimism.

“In many Asian countries, when we talk about the Year of the Rabbit, we think of a feeling of calm and resilience, like literally bouncing up when a rabbit wakes up,” said Joey Ng, marketing director at Yami. rabbit jumps”. , an online retailer of Asian snacks and goods.

Jonathan HX Lee, a professor of Asian and Asian American studies at San Francisco State University whose research focuses on religion and folklore, says it’s welcome news in the year of the Tiger. coming, or a period of “really powerful action without much thought”.

Nothing quite reflects that like the US economy last year, when soaring inflation led to a dramatic increase in interest rates by the Fed, followed by falling stocks, mass layoffs, the collapse of the economy. The cryptocurrency and housing market are fiercely competitive.

“It was a year of consumption, consumption, consumption. This year is the opposite, if we act without thinking, it can lead to dire consequences,” Lee said. “Next year is not the year of action in the short term, but planning for the long term.”

Plan your finances and career in advance

To prioritize your long-term career vision this year, perhaps you should schedule a new job before quitting your old one, says Lee. With the job market volatile, it might make sense to keep a financial cushion on the deck of the ship.

Speaking of the money aspect, it may not be a great time to rush into any major financial decisions without a lot of research and preparation. For example, if you’re planning to buy a home, make sure you can cover the rest of the bill along with the new mortgage and housing costs, says Lee.

For leaders in the workplace, the volatility of the economy requires “relentless prioritization” not only in their operations, but also in figuring out how to get ahead of the economy without causing disruption. exhausted workers.

“Instead of just trying to do more with less, we all need to find a balance,” Ng said. “You don’t want to lose the rest of the workforce. You want to make sure their lives are good, balanced, and not burnout so you can continue with your A-team moving forward.”

Laura Lau, co-author of “The Chinese Horoscope Handbook,” says that the rabbit sign is a sign that values ​​patience and diplomacy over confrontation. Lau urges people to keep that in mind when they return to work or get through a difficult time. “This is a time when it will be difficult for everyone to work together, resolve conflicts and work as a team again,” she said. “But those who tend to manage that [discomfort] will be able to go ahead.”

Lee recommends investing in your working relationships as well. “The rabbit is a symbol of peace, so cultivating empathy in working relationships will lead to a boost in one’s career,” he said.

Balance in life and happiness

Finding balance extends to your personal relationships, Ng adds: “If you were laid off, what would you have left? You were left with only family and a life outside of work.”

Lee says the sign of the year is a good reminder that you shouldn’t always “run after money” at the expense of your happiness. For example, he recently advised his sister to reconsider working overtime (and exhausting herself) to pay off her mortgage faster.

Concerned that overworking could lead to ill health, Lee suggests that she “may want to slow down, because if you’re not in good health but your mortgage has been paid off, What’s the use?”

Lee is taking that advice to heart and being more intentional in deciding where to invest his energy and resources, such as by choosing where to volunteer his time.

In Chinese folklore, the zodiac rabbit embodies being able to ask for help, Ng said – a good practice after years of isolation because of the pandemic. “If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that we can rely on others,” Ng said. “If you can help, help others. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask.”

Lau says that despite all the signs that this year is a year of pause and reflection, there is room for joy. The rabbit zodiac, she says, strikes a “good balance between taking care of yourself and enjoying life with others”. “So I’m going to try and give more importance to that ‘culture of enjoyment’ part of the rabbit.”

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