The holidays can be difficult, especially when the question, “How’s work?” comes up. Or maybe you’re making small talk at a party and someone asks, “So what do you do?” These loaded questions can make an unfulfilling career or frustrating job search worse. Instead of dwelling on the negative, focus on how you can strategically invest in yourself during the end-of-year lull.
- Try Something Different
Polish an old skill with a fresh twist, or keep your mind sharp by learning new information. Coursera, Highbrow, and Duolingo are excellent (and free) platforms to advance your knowledge of job skills and improve your desirability within the job market.
- NetworkThis time of year is perfect for reconnecting with old high school and college friends or getting acquainted with your mom’s uncle’s cousin whose career is skyrocketing. Instead of trying to frantically attend every gathering and event you’re invited to, be intentional with your time. Ask yourself who brings value to your personal and professional life. Prioritize those people. Then, fill in your time with informational interviews or buy a cup of coffee for a colleague you admire. There’s no shortage of community volunteer opportunities where you can meet someone new. The soup kitchen or animal shelter volunteer next to you could be a major CEO, upper-level manager, or even your next boss.
- Be Productive
Whether you’re in the office, working from home, or job hunting, stay focused. Read through The Muse’s round-up of the best productivity strategies. Consider joining a LinkedIn group with people in your field or with your desired job title to learn about industry best practices. And don’t forget to be proactive. Hiring and staffing don’t stop over the holidays. Get the advantage by staying active and following up during the end of the year when others may not be.
- Ask For What You Want
Instead of getting ties you’ll never wear or sweaters you’ll shove to the back of your closet, ask for something useful. Subscriptions to trade magazines, memberships to professional organizations, or gift cards towards a new interview outfit are presents that help you move toward your future.
- Return the Favor
If you’re in a position to help someone else’s career over the cup of coffee, pay it forward. This time of year is when people are more willing to help each other and have the time to do so. Share your knowledge and spread the joy.
- Give Yourself a Break
If after all of this, you’re still exhausted and overwhelmed, give yourself a holiday gift. Relax with family, celebrate with friends, and take time for yourself.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Hire Dynamics! We can’t wait to help you tackle the New Year!