Tis the Season ...
The hustle and bustle of the holidays are upon us
In the midst of rounding out the year, let’s all admit self-care is not usually on the top of our list, but it certainly is most crucial to keeping ourselves fueled, as we tackle the holiday season. This is the time of the year when our task list increases, our patience decreases, and we have to hold everything together while trying to keep our careers balanced and life moving forward.
I don't know about you, but I am already exhausted just thinking about it.
OK ... let's take a minute to pause and quickly regroup.
We all know the great importance of self-care for our body, mind and soul - but let's not forget to extend that same care to boost our careers, which tends to get sacrificed in the holiday, year-end shuffle.
1. Take stock of your accomplishments
Year-end is usually synonymous with reflection. It's the time of the year where we look back, take stock in all that we've accomplished, while planning to move ahead. So let's look back. How have you grown? and what improvements (if any) have you made? What have you learned about yourself? What are your strengths? What have you noticed are your weaknesses?
Start by making a list of the biggest challenges you faced in your job over the past year and what steps you took to overcome them. Whether it be a conflict with a co-worker, a misunderstanding with a client, a project you completed on time and on budget, or a time when you were able to exceed expectations. Be cognitive of any courses that you may have completed or industry events that you may have attended, be sure to include these on your list of accomplishments, too.
Review your list, note your strengths and accomplishments, and use that to boost your confidence and give you that extra incentive you might need to go after that new listing or to close that deal.
2. Set some career goals
Now that you have at a better idea of what your skills and strengths are, it’s time to think about how you want to use them in the future. What is most important to you in your career? Do you enjoy flexible hours? Do you have a preferred salary vs a dream salary? Do you want the opportunity for more travel? Hone in on best utilizing your skills and strengths to accomplish obtaining the most out of your career.
When you have a clear picture of what’s important to you and what you want out of your career, you’ll be in a better position to apply yourself better so that you work smarter, not harder and have a greater success rate.
3. Plan Ahead
Effective planning can really help to remove some stress from your plate. Get out your calendar and start scheduling your to-do lists and sync up your social calendar with your business engagements. Plan out what you need to get done vs what you would like to get done. Prioritize your necessary tasks vs tasks that can be completed over time, so this way you can get a jump start on what needs to be done now, which will be less that you need to worry about when the holiday season is actually here and give you more time to enjoy the holidays.
Having these future tasks and assignments physically written down will keep you focused on your long-term goals—and not just the things that need to get done tomorrow.
4. Use the holidays as an opportunity to network
The holidays are wonderful time for connecting with friends and family, but they’re also a time when you might be required to interact with people you don’t necessarily have much in common with—from polite get-togethers with distant relatives to office parties where you’re forced to make small talk.
Since you’ll be interacting with a wide variety of people anyway, you can use your upcoming holiday events to do a little networking and make new contacts and potential clients.
Keep an open mind while you socialize, and if the topic of your work comes up during a conversation, you can use it as an opportunity to let people know that you’re in the market for helping them. Sending holiday greeting cards can also be a good way to get back in touch with old colleagues and former clients.
5. Find a way to give back
The holidays are all about giving back, and believe it or not, making time to help others this holiday season can also benefit your career. Volunteering, whether it’s through charity fundraising and event coordination or helping out at an animal shelter, is a great way to expand your network, hone your skills, and gain experience, while also enhancing your clientele.
The key is to look for volunteering opportunities that are somehow related to your field of expertise, as this will help you gain the right kind of experience while also meeting key people in your industry. You help the hand that feeds yourself.