As we enter the holiday season, this is often a time of reflection when we have extra time to assess where we are and where we want to go in our personal as well as professional lives.
Whether you are an active job seeker hunting for your next opportunity or someone looking to take your career to the next level, here are six things you can do over the holiday break to give your career a boost:
The life of an professional is high stress, with very little downtime. Dedicated professionals put in long hours, sometimes working in isolation and travel frequently.
It is so important to use any opportunity you can to recharge. Reconnect with family and friends, a hobby that you love, catch up on much needed sleep or just completely unplug from the stress of the job for a few days.
If you have been actively job searching, spending your days writing cover letters, applying online and following up on applications, it’s all right to take a break from that, too. Hiring usually ceases during the holiday break, so use this time to recharge and come back to the job search with a restored sense of energy.
2. Replenish your network connections
The holidays are a great excuse to reach out to former colleagues, classmates, acquaintances or anyone in your network you’ve haven’t engaged with in a while. You have a built-in excuse to drop a note or phone call — to wish them a happy holiday — and some extra time to craft personalized messages to those you’ve lost touch with.
3. Research new employers
If you’re actively job seeking or thinking about it , now is the time to do some research on the employers you’d like to pursue.
Start a list of target employers and identify anyone you know with a connection there, like a former colleague, a friend of a friend . Once the holidays are over and people are back at their desks, reach out to these connections to learn more about the company, potential hiring needs or to set up an informational interview.
4. Go over your resume
Even if you aren’t actively seeking a new job, it’s wise to update your CV at least once a year. You never know when a dream opportunity might present itself and you’ll need to quickly produce an updated version. Additionally, the longer you wait, the harder it can be to recall specific details of your accomplishments.
Updating your CV is also a helpful way of assessing where you are in your career path. We often don’t take the time to step back and review where we are, where we’ve been and where we want to go. Incorporating all of your experience into one document can be a good exercise in self-reflection, noting gaps in skills you want to develop, roles you imagined you would do at this point in your career or noticing strengths you never realized you had.
5. Update your online profile
Did you know that thousands of recruiters search online platforms every day to identify candidates for their organisation, projects and consulting positions? Make sure employers can find and notify you of new opportunities by updating your online profiles.
6. Catch up on reading
If you plan to lounge on a beach, relax at the balcony or spend a lot of time in airports, a good book is a must. It’s hard to find the time in our busy day to day to read all the many books that are so relevant to the work that we do or hope to do.